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Published:December 7th, 2006 14:10 EST

Congressional Outrage: Five Day Work Weeks

By Kirwin Watson

Typically I'm not surprised by shenanigans and tomfoolery involving public figures in Washington. As we know, our leaders have been caught with their hands in the proverbial cookie jar quite often in recent times. Hearing that in a lapse of morality, an esteemed senator was canoodling with an intern or enjoying the knee-stocking flavor from corner-Debbie wouldn't be much of a surprise in tomorrow's headlines. What's ridiculous, however, are recent complaints from Congressional leaders after being told that they will be expected to work five-day work weeks.

Unknown to many Americans, our leaders don't actually have to work very often. By very often, I mean, not even the majority of the year. The last group, the 109th Congress, will have logged a whopping work time of 103 days when the time cards are counted. I know kindergartner's who endure in a tougher schedule. Apparently, this didn't sit well with some teacher's pet leaders as today changes were announced in Washington, and boy, aren't the kiddies upset.

Representative Steny Hoyer, a democrat who will become House majority leader, announced that Congress will be required to work longer weeks so they can actually accomplish some important things, like, fund the government, curb spending where needed, develop effective policy in Iraq, and actually read bills before singing them into law. Just little things like that. And heck, who knows, perhaps there will still be time for graham crackers, milk and nap time if they work their hardest. You'd think the elected leaders of the US would be thrilled at such news. Not quite.

In brilliant fashion, Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), was first in line to fire down this absurd proposal to develop a competent government. "Keeping us up here eats away at families." He went on to say, "Marriages suffer. The Democrats could care less about families, that's what this says." He added, "When I'm here, people call me Mr. Congressman! When I'm home, people call me 'Jack, you stupid SOB, why did you vote that way?' It keeps me grounded."

I'm not quite the outspoken one, but really, if our leaders need to be told "you're a stupid SOB" to do their jobs correctly, they need only to join a public forum and submit some of their quotes. They would receive loads of grounded-ness. Also, it's enjoyable to know that demanding a longer work week is akin to hating freedom, families and apple pie. Thanks Mr. Congressman, or SOB, I'll remember that next time I'm asked to work a longer shift.

Officials still had more to say on the subject, but it was the sweet Congressional-mom Debbie Shultz of Florida (D) who brought a nice point. She runs her daughter's Brownie troop meetings and this new schedule puts a kink in her schedule. "I'll have to ask other mothers and see if we can move it to the weekend." Her peer, Rep. John Boehner (R), was reported as saying "'Between the travel issues, the members' work schedules, the family and district issues, it was a Rubik's cube.'" The point these quotes illustrate isn't that it's bad for leaders to have personal time and plans, as everyone needs personal time, it's the underlying possibility that they expect the needs of the American public to cater to their life. That's been the problem with Congress for quite some time, and frankly, it needs to stop.

I'm sorry to hear that having a five day work week may cut into the brownie-making time and flight-schedules of our Congressional leaders. Really though, such 'sacrifices' should be expected with such an important job as being a top legislator of the US. If I'm not mistaken, being a member of Congress is not a forced position. If these people have families that are a bigger concern than a job passing laws, approving set spending, and researching trends that will PROTECT the interest of 300 million American people, they need to quit. If Lumberg needs me to stay longer to fill out TPS reports, it only goes to reason a nation just may need a Congress with a work schedule on par with the rest of the public. Maybe if we had a competent Congress, the US could have curbed some questionable moves by its president and be in a better position economically.

So yeah, Congress,we're going to need you to go ahead and enjoy those extra hours. We may need you to work Sundays too. Be productive. And yeah, if you could go ahead and at least investigate some of the shenanigans pulled by the White House in prior years, that would be great.

Source  Kirwin Watson