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5 things members of Congress are doing over August recess

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After weeks of uncertainty as to whether the Senate would stay at the Capitol to work on healthcare reform through August, both chambers of Congress have left Washington D.C. for their annual August recess. 

While President Trump will spend seventeen days at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, members of Congress are back in their own districts, many connecting with constituents at community gatherings such as town hall events. Some members of Congress have also popped up in more unusual places over the break.

Here’s a look at what Congress has been up to during recess so far and what is likely to come. 

Town halls 

Congressional town halls have played an integral role in the nationwide debate over whether to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare. 

Republicans running for various political offices campaigned for seven years on repealing and replacing ObamaCare, however Republicans in both chambers took heat from constituents over the legislative push this past year. 

The Senate failure to pass an ObamaCare repeal bill – as well as effort to do so – is likely to be a topic of conversations in upcoming town halls. 

More than a 100 Republican town halls will be held by members of Congress during recess, while 86 Democrats will also host events, according to Town Hall Project. 

Community Visits 

Members of Congress are already taking time to visit popular spots such as businesses and community centers in their districts on recess. 

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) made a stop at a manufacturer in Muskego, Wisconsin to meet with workers during his time away from Washington. 

Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Or.) took time to meet with constituents on Detroit Lake in Oregon on Friday, while his fellow Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Or.) stopped by the town of Sandy and enjoyed a donut. 

 

 

Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.) chatted up constituents at the Frederick County Fair on Friday. 

Recreation and education

Some members kicked off their recess by taking part in their favorite recreational activities.

Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM), who is a veteran Air Force pilot and member of the House General Aviation Caucus, went flying with one of his staffers on Friday. 

Pearce, who has flown around the world solo, recently announced his candidacy for governor of New Mexico. 

Other members caught up on social media trends. Rep. Donald Norcross (D-N.J.) posted his inaugural Instagram story.  

Protests

It was not smooth sailing for all members during the start of recess. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) was followed out of an airport by a person dressed as a chicken, apparently in retaliation for his vote last week to repeal ObamaCare. 

Rep. Mimi Walters (R-Calif.) is also expected to take heat on Saturday during a town hall held in Irving, California for her vote on House GOP repeal and replace measures, despite the fact she has not responded to organizer’s requests to show up. 

Tags Earl Blumenauer Jeff Flake Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Paul Ryan

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