House Republicans have spent literally half the year not working

The U.S. House of Representatives has been in session just 43 days this year—less than half the year so far and 20 fewer days than the average American full-time worker has logged to date. What’s more, the House is scheduled to work just 81 more days for the rest of the year. 

That’s right: They’re only going to be on the House floor for just 124. If you’re counting, that’s 106 fewer days than the rest of us will be spending on the job between now and the end of December.

That’s a generous accounting of their session days, because it includes pro forma sessions, those days when they gavel the House in and right back out again, usually during a recess. It also gives them the benefit of the doubt on what constitutes a legislative day, because two days of their usual work week are at best half days, with the first day of every work week generally not starting until late afternoon and the last day usually ending early afternoon.

If you’re thinking 124 (generous) days of legislative work is kind of a joke, you’re right! Even the last session—the one which has been deemed the least productive session since the Great Depression—saw them on the floor for 180 days. Of course 17 of those days were spent just trying to elect a speaker (five for former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, and 12 for Mike Johnson).

What really marks this Congress as remarkable, however, isn’t the amount of time that it’s spending absent from the floor. After all, the average amount of time the House spent in session from 2001-2020 was 146.7 days. The difference is what has not been accomplished by this Republican House. What did they manage to get done in the first session of this year? They lifted the debt ceiling and kept the government’s doors open, though that took half a dozen or so temporary funding bills, and was finally accomplished five months late. Their other accomplishments? They renamed some Veterans Affairs clinics and authorized a coin commemorating the 250th anniversary of the Marine Corps.

That paltry list of accomplishments, both McCarthy and Johnson would argue, is because of their tiny (and shrinking by the week) majority. That’s objectively bullshit.

The previous Congress, led by Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi, started with nearly the same tiny Democratic majority—221 votes—that McCarthy had coming into power. But Pelosi’s Congress passed landmark legislation in 2021-22, including sweeping programs to boost the economy and protect Americans’ livelihoods during and after the pandemic.

The Democratic Congress passed unprecedented investments in infrastructure, along with the largest climate package yet. They lowered prescription drug costs, passed election reform, a new gun law, critical investment in tech, and federal guarantees for marriage equality—working with the same margin of votes the GOP had at the beginning of this session.

Does this Republican majority deserve to be returned to power? Can the nation survive two more years of this clown show? Hell no.

Donate now to take the House back from Republicans!


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