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Money and Meetings Highlight Members’ Recess Schedules

House Republican and Democratic leaders will attend a host of activities over the July Fourth recess, from fundraisers to town hall forums to meetings with constituents.

The recess, which began Friday and spans through July 7, is the final district work period before the month-long August break. Members will return next week to tackle the 13 spending bills, which they are required to pass prior to Oct. 1, the start of the next fiscal year.

On the Republican side, Speaker Dennis Hastert (Ill.) will spend the break mixing some fundraising in with his usual district work.

Hastert began the recess at an event for freshman Rep. Chris Chocola (R-Ind.) on Friday. This week, he will head to Minnesota to raise money for Gopher State GOP Reps. Mark Kennedy and John Kline.

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), meanwhile, is also using the recess to raise money for her Caucus and to spend time in her home state.

Pelosi began the break by hitting the road for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. She spent the weekend in Florida, meeting with donors and attending the state’s Democratic Jefferson-Jackson Dinner.

She heads to Chicago today for some smaller fundraising meetings and a reception, then on Tuesday she is off to Pebble Beach, Calif., for a golf tournament and DCCC reception. Pelosi will stay in California for the rest of the recess.

Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) and Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) also plan to spend some of their recess time close to home.

DeLay has several speeches and events planned in his Houston-area district. He will take time out to do one fundraiser for his re-election committee.

Blunt will be in Missouri, where he is scheduled to hold seven town hall meetings on Medicare and prescription drugs. He will also speak at Joplin Airport, meet with two local newspaper editorial boards and raise money in Kansas City for his personal campaign committee.

Blunt’s Democratic counterpart, Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (Md.) is spending the recess in Rotterdam, Netherlands, for the 12th annual meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Parliamentary Assembly.

Hoyer will be there in his capacity as a member of the Helsinki Commission, on which he is the ranking Democrat, and as vice president of the assembly. He is stepping down from those posts after this session.

“Mr. Hoyer is taking a very short break from fundraising and his dedication to taking back the House to finish up over a decade of work on the Helsinki Commission at their annual parliamentary assembly,” said Stacey Farnen, the Whip’s spokeswoman.

Other Members attending the session include Reps. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), Benjamin Cardin (D-Md.), Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.), Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.), Joe Pitts (R-Pa.), Joe Hoeffel (D-Pa.), Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.), Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) and Diane Watson (D-Calif.).

Vice President Cheney will pitch in at the end of the break to help his fellow Republicans on the House side. He is scheduled to do a fundraiser for New Jersey Rep. Mike Ferguson (R) on July 7.

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