Editorial: At recess, head home for visits

Aug. 05, 2014 @ 11:36 PM

Congress, this 113th edition, is getting hammered for the small number of laws created, constant gridlock and has secured an ornery and stubborn reputation for not working with President Obama.

Now they are coming home. Maybe.

In this five-week recess, members of the Senate and House should be leaving Washington, D.C., and making their way to home districts, listening and engaging with the constituents they serve.

This is the time when the people can tell it like it is, and their representation can get the earful they need to make good — perhaps, better — decisions about our country.

The work of Congress will never be fully done, and this group left important items hanging. Immigration is just one of them. Visit any breakfast or lunch conversation at a favorite eatery, and the opinions and topics will fly fast.

Perhaps that’s more of where our congressmen should be going, as opposed to the stiff dates with pre-ordered chatter. There’s still a place for the drop-in on a politician’s path, and it works. Still, set dates and pre-approved questions are slightly better than where we figure some will take jaunts.

Trips by lawmakers overseas are a norm. When they’re going to see our military, that can be a good morale boost. Communication with our troops is helpful.

Unfortunately, too often, the lawmakers are making trips among the tourist stops. Lobbyists carted them there for years. So has our military. When our tax dollars are used, we’re getting ripped off. We’re not buying their “this is foreign policy research” pitch.

These are the same people talking about making cuts to our military. They can’t seem to reduce $17 trillion of debt. And if they are traveling abroad, they will definitely not exchange ideas with constituents.

Responsible lawmakers will not be making those trips this recess or any other. When the others do, their disclosure forms are ours to check and respond to accordingly.

Requiring our representation to be accountable when spending our money is the right thing to do. Be sure and tell them when they’re home this month.