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With Business Unfinished, Congress Leaves Town For Summer Recess

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Today is Congress' last day in a session for the rest of the month and lawmakers in the region aren't happy about it.

Congress is leaving D.C. for a month of vacationing, baby kissing and pressing the flesh with local voters. All the while they're leaving the federal workforce and contractors in the region uncertain with many dealing with furlough days and a pay cut. Virginia Democratic Senator Mark Warner says it's not right.

"I think we fail to appreciate the seriousness of how this is affecting real people's lives," he says.

Warner is one of many lawmakers in the region who say Congress ought to forego its month long recess and get back to the negotiating table. He says the indiscriminate budget cuts called sequestration are taking root.

"Millions of Americans, disproportionately here in the capital area, are going with one day a week sequestrations, with their businesses starting and stopping if you're a government contractor, with people that are researchers thinking if their career path is the right one," he says.

It's not just Democrats who are upset with the break. Virginia Republican Congressman Scott Rigell says lawmakers were elected to perform a duty, and right now they're letting voters down.

"I cannot get my mind and my arms around this idea that we would leave town when our work is not done and this work is critical work," he says.

Even with the bipartisan opposition to the recess, lawmakers will head out of town. That means Capitol Hill will be quiet for the month, even as lawmakers leave behind a lot of unfinished business.


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