House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer today slammed the GOP's handling of the calendar this year, charging that it has crippled the ability of Congress to pass legislation.
"This year's Floor schedule has prevented the House from getting anything done to create jobs and help Americans who are out of work," the Maryland Democrat said in a statement.
Hoyer's criticism came in response to the release of the 2012 schedule by Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), which, like this year, breaks up the schedule substantially, generally keeping the House in for only two weeks at a time.
"Next year's schedule is more of the same. While Members appreciate having more time in their districts, the House has struggled to get even its most basic work done," Hoyer said. He noted that "the schedule has been out of sync with the Senate, making it nearly impossible to coordinate. As a result, this Congress has seen only a small number of bills signed into law."
"I think it has yielded results. ... [It is] a much more functioning legislative process," Cantor said Wednesday.
"I hope that next year, in spite of the lack of days in session, Republicans will put partisanship aside and work with us to address the challenges facing our nation and get Americans back to work," Hoyer added.
Next year, the House is scheduled to be in session about the same number of days as the last presidential election year, in 2008, when Democrats controlled the schedule.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.