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What top members of Congress did on their summer vacation

Updated: Thursday, September 12 2013, 06:17 PM CDT
Reported by Kristine Frazao:

Elected lawmakers are back in Washington this week, fresh off a five-week summer break.

Their return comes as watchdog groups raise questions about what lawmakers actually do during their paid break.

We examine what the top four leaders in Congress did during the break, and why there is concern about the legacy of an August recess.

What did our respective leaders in the House and Senate do during their five-week break from Capitol Hill?

"Members of Congress, if they are doing their jobs are going to be out in public," commented former Congressman Mike Castle.

Former Congressman Castle says he felt it was imperative to connect with voters during August recess. 

In modern times, the break means lawmakers spend time with their family, work with constituents, campaign or travel, according to the U.S. Senate website.

House Speaker John Boehner, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell campaigned, traveled, likely spent time with family, but avoided large, organized meeting with constituents.
Not a single town hall meeting between them.

Boehner hit the links with Donald Trump, although pictures have not yet surfaced.

The biggest winner of the day was the Professional Golfers Association.  The PGA's contributions to lawmakers like Boehner help it retain its tax free status.  . 

Boehner also raised money for some candidates. 

Harry Reid caught baseball fever between a couple of environmental conferences. Reid made national headlines with thoughts about former baseball great Pete Rose, opining Rose should be allowed in the Hall of Fame. 

"What's strange is that there's a six week recess for Congress, yet, they hide, they don't want to talk to their constituents, they don't want to hold town hall meetings," stated David Williams, with the Taxpayers Protection Alliance.

Mitch McConnell attended a country ham breakfast and according to published reports, held a few private 'constituent group' meetings.

Nancy Pelosi traveled to Massachusetts to attend a forum for women and economics.  Several fundraising events were also on her agenda.

"I want to go back to the days when people in office where listening to Americans," urged former Congressman Ernie Istook Jr.

What did the congressional leadership do with the rest of their recess?   We've asked and we're waiting for answers.
What top members of Congress did on their summer vacation

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