WASHINGTON, D.C. — First District Congressman David McKinley (R-WV) says the U.S. House calendar is deceiving. “I think, unfortunately, too many people think that we’re not working,” said McKinley on Wednesday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”
Members of the U.S. House of Representatives returned to Washington, D.C. Monday, following the Thanksgiving break, and are tentatively scheduled to adjourn on Dec. 13 for the holiday recess.
It will be next Monday before members of the U.S. Senate are back on Capitol Hill, with an adjournment date for that chamber set for Dec. 20.
That means both chambers will be meeting concurrently, for the first time since mid-November, for only a few days next week, from Dec. 10 through Dec. 13.
“Most people don’t understand, when we’re not in session, we’re still working,” said McKinley.
Dec. 13 is the deadline for budget negotiators who have been working to set government spending levels for the rest of this federal fiscal year and the next federal fiscal year.
As of now, funding for the federal government is scheduled to expire on Jan. 15. That means the government will be operating, with another shutdown deadline looming, when lawmakers return to Washington, D.C. during the week of Jan. 6.
There are other issues waiting on action including gun control, Republican proposals focused on fixes for the Affordable Care Act and immigration among others.
“A lot of it happens behind the scenes. You don’t need to have 40 people in the room to have a meeting on the immigration bill,” said McKinley who promised a bill. “It’s going to be, first, secure the border. That’s on any immigration issue. That, to me, is paramount to it.”
The close of 2013 for the U.S. Senate and U.S. House will mark the end of a year that saw the fewest laws enacted since at least 1947, the first government shutdown in almost two decades and record low approval ratings for Congress.