Constituents are often puzzled about Congressional 'recess' − Is it some form of vacation? A legislative timeout? A Congressional form of a playground break?

Actually, members of Congress are very much working during periods of 'recess.' Officially, they are known as District Work periods, whereby representatives return to their Congressional districts for stretches of time to meet with constituents and work hands-on and face-to-face in their district offices.

Congress is currently in recess, which began April 6 and ends April 17. The Legislative Reorganization Act of 1970 stipulated a 30-day recess each August, except in time of war. Congress also recesses the week of a federal holiday.


re·cess, n, (rē'sĕs') : When Congress has recessed, business has been put "on hold."