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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Should Congress cut short its recess?



It's August, do you know where your congressman is?

Not in Washington. Maybe not even in the country.

All that apocalyptic talk about a deadline to reach a deal on the debt ceiling overshadowed another target lawmakers were hoping to make: The start of their summer vacation.

Normally, the August "recess" is barely noticed. These, of course, are not normal times.

"They're running away from the duties they've been elected to do. They all should be fired!" said Sam Pannill, 74 of Largo, capturing what seems like widespread sentiment across the country, where Congress has a record-low 13 percent approval rating.

"Vacation? You've got to be kidding me," a woman in Boynton Beach wrote to Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio. "Why are you going on a five-week vacation when you have not even done anything regarding jobs and the economy? When are you going to address these issues?"

Maybe President Barack Obama can force them back.

"The last thing we need is Congress spending more time arguing in D.C.," Obama said last week in Michigan. His sleeves were rolled up in an attempt to show he was working hard.

But the president is getting out of town, too. Thursday he begins a 10-day vacation in Martha's Vineyard, Mass.

Story here.

[Last modified: Wednesday, August 17, 2011 6:57pm]


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