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23 Days | The Nation

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The Notion

Unfiltered takes on politics, ideas and culture from Nation editors and contributors.

23 Days

No, the above title is not a reference to how many vacation days I've taken this year. Twenty-three days is how long the Senate plans to be in legislative session this year.

According to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, the Senate will try and complete its "must-pass" bills by September 27, giving Senators the rest of the time to campaign and raise money before the November elections.

As Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid noted:

This new adjournment date means the Senate has only 8 more weeks in which it will be session.

Eight weeks is 40 business days.

Subtract Labor Day, and there are only 39 days.

Subtract Mondays and Fridays--which aren't real work days in this Republican Congress--and there are just 23 legislative days left in the 109th Congress.

Not exactly much time to tend to the people's business. I forgot to mention they're gone the entire month of August.

Last year Frist promised votes on stem cell research and the renewal of the Voting Rights Act. Thus far, neither have been given a specific date for debate.

And you can forget about Congress passing comprehensive immigration reform or new limits on lobbyists.

Right now, we'll be lucky if they name a few post offices.

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