Opinion Columns & Blogs

‘Frequent-flyer Congress’ passed more bills last year

Credit Congress for enacting 113 bills last year, up from just 72 in the comparable nonelection year of 2013. But the House had only 130 working days and the Senate a total 156 in 2015, according to a Reuters report on the “frequent-flyer Congress.” Those counts exclude the increasing numbers of “pro forma” days, usually nonworking sessions of a few minutes on Mondays and Fridays. Former Wichita congressman Dan Glickman suggested to Reuters that when lawmakers spend less time on Capitol Hill, it “makes it more difficult to build relationships” and get things done. He also reminisced about often spending time on the House floor just listening to debate when he was in Congress, from 1977 until 1995. “If I did that now, I would be guilty of malpractice,” he said. “You need to be either in committee doing your work or raising money.” – Rhonda Holman