The Democrats' war on families?

Republican representative says marriages will suffer if members of Congress have to work five days a week

By Tim Grieve
Published December 6, 2006 3:19PM (EST)

Rep. Jack Kingston, a Republican from Georgia, said Tuesday: "The Democrats could care less about families -- that's what this says."

The subject of his grievance? Incoming House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer has announced that members of the new Congress will be expected to spend five days a week on the job.

Well, not five whole days. Under Hoyer's plan, House members will be expected to be on hand at the Capitol by 6:30 p.m. most Mondays, and they'll be sprung lose by about 2 p.m. most Fridays.

Why are Kingston and other members so upset? They're accustomed to a much, much cushier schedule. Kingston, who tells the Washington Post that marriages will "suffer" under Hoyer's schedule, is used to punching the clock on the Tuesday-through-Thursday shift. If Congress adjourns on Friday as planned, it will have been in session for all of 103 days this year.

What it won't have accomplished in that time: the passage of $463 billion in spending bills for the fiscal year that began two months ago. But as the Wall Street Journal reports today, the Republican majority's failure to get the spending bills through Congress isn't just a result of laziness by people collecting full-time pay for a one-third-time job. It's an intentional effort to sabotage the future by "tearing up railroad track and planting legislative land mines to make it harder for Democrats to govern when they take power in Congress next month."

Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

MORE FROM Tim Grieve

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

2006 Elections Steny Hoyer D-md.