Regarding the Aug. 6 news story “Two senators, 26 seconds: FAA is back in business”:
After 134 years of reporting on Congress, you’d think that The Post and its writers would not fall back on the old canard that when Congress is in recess, its members go on vacation.
But no, reporter Rosalind S. Helderman needed to get her dig in, saying that authorization of short-term funding for the Federal Aviation Administration “did not require summoning vacationing House members from their fishing cabins or senators from their summer homes.”
Maybe the Post should send its political reporters out on the road with members of Congress during a recess to see how that time is spent. Then maybe they’d realize that “recess” does not equal “vacation.” Members spend countless hours meeting with constituents, attending community events and parades, holding town hall meetings, touring district businesses, and, yes, even having a day or two off. Even running an errand such as going to the grocery store usually turns into an hour of greeting every constituent who wants to say hello, complain about what’s happening in Washington or ask for help with Social Security.
I’m not asking that your readers feel sorry for members of Congress, but I think you and your reporters should stop reporting that “recess = vacation” once and for all.
R. Patrick Baugh, Washington
The writer is a financial administrator of the House of Representatives.