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GOP lawmaker: Summer recess ‘anything but vacation’

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A Republican lawmaker wants to make one thing clear to his constituents: Congress’ summer recess is not a vacation.

Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nev., posted a video on his YouTube account this week titled “The August district work period is NOT a vacation,” explaining that the five-week August recess is a time for him to reconnect with his district and do plenty of work.

“Over the next few weeks you may hear it reported in the media that Congress is on recess or that we’re on vacation,” Heck said in the video. “I wanted to take a few minutes to dispel those rumors and tell you about the work I’ll actually being doing.”

During the break, however, Heck, will take a few vacation days to spend with his son, his Nevada office said. He also will use the time to complete his required two weeks of duty as a U.S. Army Reserve.

The late-summer recess gets a bad rap from Beltway insiders who are left behind on the Hill while lawmakers head home. It’s often pegged as a vacation or “skipping town” before the work is done, and not just by local editorial pages. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., and Rep. Scott Riggel, R-Va., have called on their colleagues to stay in Washington and work on the problems facing Congress.

But Heck contends he is doing lots of work back home. He said he meets with constituents almost daily and tours businesses, schools and nonprofits to hear concerns from people on the issues facing the district and the country.

“While my time at home in Nevada is enjoyable,” Heck said, “most weeks it is anything but vacation.”