Speed Reads

Numbers don't lie

Congress has only worked a full week 14 percent of the time since 1978

If you've wondered how many times Congress has officially worked a five-day week, The Washington Post has the answer.

Philip Bump at the Post crunched the numbers from the Library of Congress' official records of Congressional activity, which date back to Jan. 1, 1978. His findings? "Your likely stereotype about the amount of time Congress spends doing the people's work is probably about right," Bump writes.

Bump reports that out of the 13,000-plus days since Jan. 1, 1978, both chambers of Congress were in session at the same time for 4,700 of those days. The Senate worked more than the House, though — the Senate was in session roughly 42 percent of the time, while the House was in session just 39 percent of the time.

As for working five-day weeks, both the House and Senate were in session for a full week 258 times — 13.5 percent of the 1,917 weeks since Jan. 1, 1978. For the full breakdown, click over to The Washington Post, where you can find charts of Congress' work weeks over the years.