House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy released the legislative calendar for 2015, and Republicans aren’t deviating from the familiar formula of giving members plenty of time in their districts.
Overall, the House is slated to be in session 132 days next year, without a single five-day week scheduled.
That’s not unprecedented. The House was in session 135 days during the first session of the 113th Congress (after being scheduled to be in session for only 126 days — the extra work days a result of that whole government shutdown thing). None of that means members aren’t necessarily working. It just means they aren’t in session voting. Members often note they are still busy during “district work weeks.”
In a press release announcing the calendar, McCarthy said this schedule would ensure that “’the People’s House’” always remains in touch with the constituents who sent members here. “District work weeks provide an invaluable opportunity for us to meet with and listen to our constituents,” McCarthy said. “Discussing ideas and concerns is a critical function of our responsive, representative democracy, and for this reason, our schedule will continue to provide considerable time for constituent services in our district each month.”
McCarthy also noted the House would continue to reserve morning hours so that committees have “the necessary time to carry out their essential policymaking and oversight duties.” He also noted that floor votes would be scheduled in the afternoon and early evening hours, with votes occurring no later than 7 p.m. during the work week and no later than 3 p.m. on the last day in session. McCarthy did warn, however, that, “as in prior years,” appropriations bills may require evening votes.
The House also is scheduled to be in session until Dec. 18, though top Republicans have told members they expect to be done with work by Dec. 11.
You can download the calendar here .
Christina Bellantoni contributed to this report.
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