A woman walks by a miniature of the Capitol building at the Hart Senate Office Building at Capitol Hill in Washington

The frequent-flyer U.S. Congress: lawmakers work less in DC

A woman walks by a miniature of the Capitol building at the Hart Senate Office Building at Capitol Hill in WashingtonBy Susan Cornwell and Megan Cassella WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Anyone seeking a table at Carmine’s Italian restaurant near Capitol Hill on a Tuesday or Wednesday needs to battle a mid-week crush of Congress members and their staff. There are usually around nine events on a Monday, compared to as many as 30 on a midweek day, says Kelly Fitzgerald, Carmine’s director of special events and catering.  The mid-week crunch at Carmine’s underscores a trend: members of the U.S. Congress have been spending fewer days working in Washington since the late 2000s, according to a Reuters review of congressional records going back 18 years. Lawmakers increasingly try to cram their legislative work into the middle of the week in Washington and then rush back home.

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