A month or two ago CL asked local Congresswoman Kathy Castor about the fact that it appeared she had been back home in Tampa more this year than any other since she began serving in Congress in 2007.
She said that it was part of the plan of the GOP House leadership led by Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor to have House members in their home districts at least one week each month.
But with the clock ticking towards the limit on the debt ceiling needed to be increased, President Obama today took notice, asking essentially where are these guys?
Obama made the comment as he was responding to a question from new CNN White House correspondent (and former Fox 13 WTVT reporter a decade ago) Jessica Yellin about the debt ceiling, and how significant was the August 2 deadline, the latest announced by Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner as the day that the country will go default on its debt.
On previous occasions we've noted the usual amount of days off by members of Congress (though Castor and her aides will tell you they are busier than ever fitting in as many events and meetings with as many constituents as possible in those weeks she's back in the district).
The paucity of days in Washington is so pronounced that South Florida Republican Congressman Allen West criticized it last December when first saw the 2011 schedule.
But we digress. In his response, the President fought back against the claims that he has failed to lead on this issue, farming it out to Vice President Biden up until the last week. And those claims aren't coming just from Republicans.
As liberal critics say that the GOP is being intransigent in the debt ceiling talks by discussion of raising revenues off the table. So Obama made it clear from his very first answer today that it was Republicans insistence on protecting things like tax breaks for corporate airplanes that was holding up a deal.
On Tuesday Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters that
the debt limit does not necessarily have to be raised by Aug. 2. That call was absolutely refuted by Geithner on Wednesday, who said in a letter addressed to Sen. Jim DeMint, a South Carolina Republican, that the idea is "a radical and deeply irresponsible departure" from previous practices by presidents of both parties.