Members of Congress have spent less time in Washington this year than in recent memory according to a new analysis. CNN reports that House members have been in the nation’s capital for just 56% of all non-holiday weekdays, which works out to an average of three days per week. Senators don’t do much better, spending time on the Hill for 61% of weekdays. In fact, the Senate did not have a single five-day workweek through the end of July. The House only had two.
The number of congressional work days has now been significantly less than the high point of 2009. That’s when the Senate met for 113 days before the August recess, which is 24 days more than the same period this year.
The House met for 19 more days in 2009 compared to this year.
At that time, Barack Obama was just beginning his presidency and Democrats led both chambers and pushed an aggressive agenda.
The time spent by members in Washington dropped sharply the following year and has decreased nearly every year since with each party controlling one house and partisanship defining the political climate.