In case you haven’t heard, our lawmakers have returned from their six-week, summer sabbatical, ready to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty. Among the agenda items for this legislative session: firearms, keeping the government from shutting down, trade and, at least for some Democrats, impeaching the president.

The congressional recess is necessary. Not for members Congress, but for the rest of us. We need the break from them, even though, out of 261 work days, the House and the Senate will be in session together for just 121. Both chambers are actually scheduled to meet fewer days this year than in 2018. (By the way, senators and representatives make, on average, about $174,000 annually.)

Copyright 2019 Rich Manieri, distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Rich Manieri is a Philadelphia-born journalist and author. He is currently a professor of journalism at Asbury University in Kentucky. His book, “We Burn on Friday: A Memoir of My Father and Me” is available at You can reach him at

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