Street Talk: The Dream of Recess Deferred

By Kate Ackley
Roll Call Staff
July 5, 2011

You shouldn’t be reading this — at least not in your office.

The day after the Fourth of July should be the start of one of the sacrosanct recess weeks. It’s so ingrained in the internal clocks of lobbyists, staffers and journalists you wouldn’t even need to consult a calendar.

Except this year.

The Senate, which canceled its July Fourth recess originally scheduled for this week, can’t really take the blame. The House had long planned to be in session, taking a district break last week and ensuring the K Street lobbying and fundraising machine would not unwind for the holiday. The same thing happened over the Memorial Day week.

Lobbyist Michael Herson, who runs American Defense International, said he loves the new House calendar in general because the Members’ more frequent district work periods afford him more weeks when he’s free of early-morning or late-evening fundraisers.

“It’s family-friendly not only for the Members but for the lobbyists, too,” he said. “I know every month I have at least a week or two I don’t have to be at a breakfast, and I can be home with my kids.”

But he said the mismatched recess calendars between the two chambers has taken its toll.

“The schedule has made us focus more on the House,” he said.

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