The illegal recess

3 Aug

We’re not constitutional lawyers, but we’ve read that founding document many times.

We point you to Article I, Section 5 of the Constitution:
“Neither House, during the Session of Congress, shall, without the Consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days….”

Our look at the great document started after this question was tossed at us:

How can Congress be on recess – when it’s really not?

Congress traditionally takes about 5 weeks off at this time of year to go home to campaign and attend the political conventions.

Yesterday, the Senate voted to adjourn by unanimous consent.

But the House did not.

That’s the state of affairs in Washington these days.

They can’t even agree to take a break.

So legally, Congress is not on August recess.

Why is this important?

Because you’re supposed to do things the correct way, as difficult as that might be in Washington.

If they are going to be legal, they now have to meet – at least in a pro forma session – every three days from now through September.

Pro forma” is lawyer talk for “as if.”

The House and Senate may meet “as if” all members are here, but no business is done.

Nothing unusual there.

And now the Democrats will stir the pot to try to make Republicans look bad so they have something to talk about while on this illegal break.

They’ve put together a laundry list of unfinished business to blame on the Republicans.

Fixing the tax cuts.
Undoing mandatory defense cuts known as “sequestration.”
Salvaging the Postal Service.
Approving a farm bill.

It’s a long list.

None of this should surprise anyone.

One Response to “The illegal recess”

  1. Anonymous August 3, 2012 at 7:20 am #

    The USPS issue really needs to be addressed. The micro-managing by Congress is shameful and ultimately disastrous. I am in the 30% of Americans apparently who would mind stopping Saturday delivery. I am willing to pay more for my postage–it’s already the deal of the century. Yes, more and more communication is by Internet but we NEED a viable postal service. So many solutions: allow them to ship liquor and wine; raise postage; do away with the stupid pre-funding, etc.

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