Rep. Scott Rigell is going to be very unpopular with his colleagues.
The Virginia Congressman publicly called on Friday for members of Congress to forgo the month-long August recess and stay in session until they finish the appropriations process.
“We’ve only passed three of the 12 appropriations bills. I don’t see a path for us to pass all 12 appropriations bills before the deadline, absent us staying here through August. A CR is an inadequate substitution for us doing our jobs,” he said in a statement.
“Congress should be in session six days a week — from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. — just like we would in the private sector if we were behind in our work,” he added. Congress is usually in session for three or four days each week.
Rigell, who represents a district which lots of military members in it, emphasized the importance of passing a defense appropriations bill.
“Too many have sacrificed too much for us to just pack up and leave town for a month without giving them the necessary funding and certainty to keep our warfighters trained and equipped,” Rigell said.
The idea that Congress should spend more time in session is not a novel suggestion.
Former Maine Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe, in a book published after she retired from public office, said much of the gridlock in the current Congress could be alleviated if members had a five day-a-week schedule and simply spent more time in the same place.