From NBC's Mike Viqueira
Incoming House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer says he didn't mean for people to take literally his comments about the House working five days a week next year. It was widely reported that Hoyer pledged to crack down and have members in Washington each day of what constitutes a normal work week for most working stiffs. The past several years of GOP rule have typically seen the House coming in early evenings Tuesday and splitting town by late afternoon Thursday.
But a great hue and cry ensued. Democrats were accused of not being "family friendly" and that members -- who apparently did not realize when they ran for office that they would be expected to come to Washington every once and a while -- would end up strangers in their own homes. This is said to be especially true of members from rural or West Coast districts.
It turns out that it won't be quite that bad. Monday will be a travel day, with votes scheduled for 6:30 pm, as is typically done on Tuesdays now. And they won't be here most Fridays, save for the appropriations season in June, which is usually full of rock'em-sock'em legislative action. Hoyer just clarified this for us at a presser.
To be fair to Hoyer, this is largely what he said earlier in the week, but things kind of got out of hand. You know how we do. Moreover, the recess schedule will be somewhat curtailed next year. We are also likely to be here the entire month of January, which hasn't happened lately. So the likelihood is that the House will easily surpass the total legislative days in session that has been the standard for any recent Congress.