Open Letter to Members of Congress: Crises Demand More Work Time Shorter Vacation
July 27, 2023
The Congress is about to embark on the longest of its numerous annual “recesses” – some would call these five weeks until after Labor Day in September a vacation from your Washington, D.C. workplace. Does it seem reckless not to be in session, holding hearings, floor deliberations, personally communicating with one another, and legislating at a time of national and international convulsions?
Deadly climate eruptions – floods, droughts, uncontrollable wildfires, hurricanes (typhoons), and extreme heat are reaching record levels in recorded history. U.S. war policies and practices, constitutionally under congressional directive, are out of control due to an escalating rampage of Executive power. You have a budget deadline by September 30 and numerous appropriation bills, including the audit-resistant (in violation of the 1990 federal law) runaway military budget, still on the table. Post-pandemic privations for tens of millions of impoverished Americans, and the inexcusable plights of millions of children, no longer receiving the child’s tax credit, are mounting. And more.
Come to your institutional senses. Convene three out of the five weeks to work inside our legislature and focus our many unproductive committees and subcommittees on these calamities facing our country. That still leaves you with two weeks before Labor Day to rest, stretch and reflect on your full constitutional duties before the nation and the people who sent you there. The same people who want you to work full weeks to address their necessities which they have entrusted to your care – all 535 of you in the House of Representatives and the Senate.
We look forward to your individual and collective responses.
Ralph Nader, Esq.
Bruce Fein, Esq.
Rocky Anderson, Esq.
Two-term elected Mayor of Salt Lake City
Robert Weissman, Esq.
President of Public Citizen
CC: The American People