Every year there’s a member of Congress who’s first out of the gate in protesting the five-week August recess and chides his colleagues for taking summer vacation while there’s still work to be done.
This time around it’s Rep. Scott Rigell (R-Va.), who says Congress shouldn’t skip town with several outstanding appropriations bills that could avoid another continuing resolution to keep the government running.
“We’ve only passed three of the 12 appropriations bills,” said Rigell. “I don’t see a path for us to pass all 12 appropriations bills before the deadline, absent us staying here through August. A CR is an inadequate substitution for us doing our jobs. Congress should be in session six days a week – from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. – just like we would in the private sector if we were behind in our work.”
It’s not the first time Rigell has called on leadership to put recess on hold.
Noting the president’s tardy budget, the Senate’s recent willingness to finally pass a budget, and the endless cycle of stop-gap CRs from the House, the congressman said “there is enough blame to go around for the fiscal mess we’re in — the bottom line is this: we need to stay in session until our work is done.”
“A defense appropriations bill is particularly important to our men and women in uniform and our defense community. Too many have sacrificed too much for us to just pack up and leave town for a month without giving them the necessary funding and certainty to keep our warfighters trained and equipped,” said Rigell, who represents a largely military district.
Rigell also backs the budget conference that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has been blocking in the upper chamber.