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Congressional Recess and You

I don’t have much time left as the August guest blogger, so I will use my current position of power here in the center column to point out the new post by James R. Jacobs over there in the side column: “Google for government spending” blocked by unknown Senator . This post from James concerns S. 2590, the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006. My lunching lobbyist friend just let me know that the story is also covered in the August 28 Washington Times. (For those not familiar with the Washington Times, its editorial spin is somewhat different than that of, say, Mother Jones.)

I have wanted to write a post about the power of August recess, and this breaking story gives me just the opportunity.

Don’t like what’s happening? Talk to your Senators and Representatives in the U.S. Congress. They should be back home for August recess. For some of the flavor of a congressional recess, check out the article “Recess!” by Paul Jenks in the August issue of Jenks is slightly more cynical than I am about your constituent power during recess, but he does observe that “in Washington [members of Congress] are isolated somewhat from their constituents and are at the beck and call of their national parties, interest groups and the administration. On recess, they are on their own amongst their own.” And you certainly have more power than I do: I live and vote in DC.

Whether the topic is the spending database, or net neutrality, or EPA Libraries, you can use what is left of August recess to make government information issues real to your elected representatives. But this is no endless summer. The Senate reconvenes on September 5, and the House reconvenes on September 6.

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