Hey, did you know that if you are not clocked in at the office you are not working, even if you are sitting at home on your laptop cranking away on a report? That is the essence of this ridiculously stupid piece from Philip Bump at the Washington Post. Bump is apparently the new court jester of conventional wisdom over at The Fix.
According to Bump, “since 1978, Congress has worked a full week 14 percent of the time.” How does he conclude that? By looking at how often Congress has been in session. He actually presumes that unless Congress is in session in Washington, DC, debating on stuff, no work is getting done.
So, fact finding missions overseas? Not work. Meeting constituents in district? Not work. Nope, none of those things is congressional work.
Oh, but don’t worry. After prattling on 621 or so words about how little Congress works, Philip Bump gives an “obligatory caveat” that all the prior 621 words were bull crap.
An obligatory caveat: Being a member of Congress is not only about being on the floor in the Capitol, debating policy and casting votes. Members of Congress often hold constituent events on weekends and, occasionally, they’re in session then, too.
But hey folks, it’s just too hard for Philip Bump to measure all the work Congress does when not in formal session, so we’ll just pretend it never happens.
I hate Congress. I hate defending Congress. But this whole “news story” is horse manure masquerading as conventional wisdom with an underlying premise that if Congress would just do stuff we’d all live in a better America.
I realize all the Washington Post bloggers are trying to justify their existence lest Jeff Bezos can them, but this nonsense really does not help build the case that there is any value added by Philip Bump.