This week is the final week the House of Representatives will be in session before the annual August congressional recess. The Senate is scheduled to stay in Washington one week longer.
This annual occurrence is a continuation of something that began before the invention of air conditioning. August in Washington, D.C., is typically very hot and humid and members of Congress left town for the month because conducting business was so miserable. Of course, those from states farther south went home to even hotter temperatures.
But even with the invention of air conditioning, the tradition continues.
It has been argued that with so much left to do, Congress should stay in town and work on passing legislation that is needed but the opportunity to go home and campaign at county fairs and other events is too strong to resist, especially in an election year.