Re-election campaigns — and thus congressional careers — can be won or lost in August, so canceling the 30-day respite from doing the nation's public business is the last thing congressmen in either party want to do.
But, with thousands of illegal immigrants, including many unaccompanied minors, flooding the border in Texas, millions of Americans still unable to find jobs, the Middle East erupting, Iraq falling apart, Russia firing artillery shells into Ukraine, and President Obama issuing a blizzard of arguably unconstitutional executive orders, maybe leaving town for a month is the last thing Congress should do in 2014.
Cancel the recess!
Fox News' Greta Van Susteren got into a heated discussion Thursday with Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., that punctured the chief House Republican excuse for not canceling the recess.
"I've got a list. Thirty House members say its a crisis. Fourteen senators say it's a crisis, but you're all going away next week," Susteren said.
A clearly unnerved Ileana Ros-Lehtinen first tried to say the problem can't be solved by "throwing money at it," then blamed Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for blocking Republican bills.
Here's an idea — do your job!
Van Susteren was having none of it, however, saying, "here's a suggestion. I love protests. Why don't all of your members in the House, Democrats and Republicans, stay in Washington next week and insist that it be resolved ... Make a statement to the American people that you actually give a damn."
More hemming and hawing by Ileana Ros-Lehtinen sparked a clearly exasperated Van Susteren to point out that the original rationale for the recess was the lack of air conditioning, which made Washington especially miserable in August.
"Greta, we just can't make Harry Reid do it, he will not do it, he's wanting to throw money at the problem," Illeana-Ros-Lehtinen answered.
We're here. Where's Harry?
"I don't buy it. Stay here. Occupy your offices, all of the House until it gets done," exclaimed Van Susteren. "Not in a million years would I turn my back on a humanitarian crisis, not in a million years."
"We're here. Where's Harry?" would also force journalists to stop falsely portraying Washington gridlock as caused by House GOP intransigence. It might even become THE issue when voters go to the polls in November.
UPDATE: Greta note to House GOP
Van Susteren is serious about her suggestion that members of Congress cancel their traditional August recess and stay in session in order to deal with the border crisis and other urgent problems plaguing the nation.
"You are not doing your job about this humanitarian crisis to simply vote and pass a bill….and then leave on vacation….pointing the finger at Senator Harry Reid and saying ‘it is his fault.’ There is more to the job — like getting results," she said in a memo posted earlier this morning on Gretawire.
House Republicans might want to pay attention because Van Susteren has a way of forcing issues that would otherwise get lost to center stage on the national agenda. Just ask U.S. Marine Sgt. Andrew Tamooreesi.
On today's washingtonexaminer.com
OpEds/Sen. Mitch McConnell: Protecting free speech means standing up for it.
OpEds/Mark J. Fitzgibbons: Lawsuits against attorneys general target Lois Lerner syndrome spreading among the states.
Columnists/Shikha Dalmia: Australia's carbon tax debacle shows why it's a bad idea.
Columnists/David Freddoso: Lawmakers must learn not to be AWOL when oversight is needed.
Columnists/Philip Klein: Republicans cannot leave unmarried Americans behind.
Beltway Confidential/Ashe Schow: The Clinton machine declares war on a woman (and it's not Monica Lewinsky this time).
PennAve/Joseph Lawler: Here's where Obama assigns blame for corporate "inversions."
Legal Newsline/Bryan Cohen: Bondi teams with CFPB against Florida law firm that duped mortgage consumers.
Video Morning Examiner: Morning Examiner with Steve Doty for July 25.
In other news
USA Today: Russian military fires artillery into Ukraine.
New York Daily News: Michelle Obama's new pro-obesity campaign.
The Los Angeles Times: Palestinians claim they were waiting to evacuate when school was hit.
The American Thinker: A government rightfully feared and distrusted.
Washington Free Beacon: Israel can win if Obama doesn't save Hamas.
The Patriot Post: GOP proposes immigration bills while Perry deploys National Guard.
The Federalist: Are teachers underpaid? Let's find out.
The Daily Beast: Europe's Jews blamed for Israel's war.
The Progressive: Obama move will harm oceans.
Kids Prefer Cheese: A bad Delta redeye in first class.
Talking Points Memo: Congress may be headed for another government funding fight.
In These Times: Jon Pelto says he isn't a spoiler.