Tomorrow all 435 seats in Congress are up for election. One can only surmise that once elected, they'll actually end up working on the people's business in Washington. That certainly isn't the case today, where the current Congress will go down as the least productive in the past two decades, meeting for only 110 days.
The institution's approval ranking sits at 14 percent, the lowest since the Watergate era of 1974. That's also the election where 91 seats changed hands.
That's not going to happen tomorrow, but might Congress actually start doing more? The lack of activity prompted Pinellas Congressman David Jolly to propose a bill in late September that would require the House of Representatives to work Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m to 6 p.m.
While not formally endorsing Jolly's legislation, Tampa area Democratic Representative Kathy Castor says she "agrees with the abysmal ratings" that Congress currently has, and blamed House Speaker John Boehner and his colleagues.
"The leadership has been a disaster for the American people," Castor told CL on a blustery Saturday morning where she was encouraging get-out-the-vote efforts at the Jan Platt Library in South Tampa with state Senate candidate Judithanne McLauchlan.
Since August 7, Congress has been in session for just two weeks. It was in that second week in September before they broke to campaign that both houses voted to support President Obama's plant to train and equip moderate Syrian rebels to counter the growing threat of the Islamic State organization. But they have not voted directly on the use of military force in Syria.
"They’ve shirked their duty on our top constitutional responsibility — do we go to war or not?" she said.
The Congresswoman, who will be re-elected on Tuesday to her fifth term in CD14, says that Boehner and the House leadership has Americans crying out for leadership on jobs and immigration, among other issues.
"What are they afraid of?" she asks. "I hope that people really do speak out in this election and remember when they shut down the government a year ago and the waste that caused and really stand up for people who are ready to work."
Castor did tell us that she will be voting for Amendment Two, the medical marijuana initiative. But when asked to elaborate, she begged off to participate in a group photo with volunteers who were about to go door-to-door to work on getting the vote out.