What Are House Leaders Doing Over August Recess Besides Raking in Cash?

By John R Parkinson

Aug 11, 2011 1:05pm

ABC News’ John R. Parkinson (@JRPabcDC) reports:

While the perception of August is that lawmakers are relaxing on vacation away from the summer heat of Washington, the break is really just from legislative business as House Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi are both hitting the road for their rank and file members this recess.

Boehner spent time this week campaigning for fellow Republicans in his home state of Ohio – including multiple golfing fundraisers, and will travel around the Midwest in the coming weeks. Wednesday Boehner was in Toledo to campaign for Rep. Bob Latta. Earlier this week, protestors showed up at his district office in West Chester, Ohio as well as outside a fundraiser at a golf club in Dublin, Ohio.

According to local reports, Boehner will be in Sioux Falls August 18 to participate in a fundraiser at the Minnehaha Country Club for freshman Rep. Kristi Noem. Individuals can pay $500 and couples $1,000 for a photo reception and breakfast with Boehner, or $250 per individual and $500 for couples for breakfast only.

Boehner will also go to Peoria, Illinois to hit the stump with Rep. Aaron Schock at a $250 per person fundraiser on August 31.

Boehner and Pelosi haven’t completely ignored their responsibilities at the Capitol, having made the joint decision to end the House Page program earlier this week.

While Pelosi finalized her three selections to the Deficit Reduction super committee, the top House Democrat was in Houston earlier this week with Texan lawmakers Sheila Jackson Lee and Al Green at a forum with seniors to discuss Democrats’ commitment to protecting Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. The event was free of charge and open to the public.

Before she left Washington, Pelosi revealed that she would be doing a lot of campaigning over the recess while maintaining a busy work schedule throughout the break.

A senior Democratic aide says that Pelosi will speaking at an American Cancer Society event in San Francisco tonight, where she will be presented with the “California Federal Advocacy Leadership Award” for her leadership and commitment in the effort to eradicate cancer.  There is a “suggested minimum contribution is $100 per person” for the reception to benefit the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.

Still the majority of her time this recess will be spent on political travel throughout the country. An aide said Pelosi would attend a United Steelworkers Convention at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas next Monday, August 15.

“We have public events every week during the recess,” the Democratic aide said. “Several San Francisco events planned as well as press events on the road.”

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor will lead two delegations of House Republicans to Israel August 13th-21st and August 21st-28th. A spokesperson for Cantor says that Cantor will be there for a portion of both trips, but will not be there for the entire two-week period.

These trips mark the largest ever visit of U.S. lawmakers to Israel in this capacity and will allow new Members of Congress to learn about the U.S.-Israel relationship and the country's critical role in national security, according to a senior GOP aide. House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy will also attend the excursion.

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer is currently leading his own CODEL with 26 fellow House Democrats to Israel and the West Bank from August 8th to 14th to learn more about issues critical to the U.S.-Israel relationship and international security.

Hoyer and the delegation will meet with Israeli and Palestinian government officials, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres and, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. They will also meet with military officials and American diplomats. In addition, Members will visit important historical and cultural sites, including the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial, according to a Democratic aide.

Hoyer, the House’s No. 2 ranked Democrat, will be holding a “Make It In America” event in his congressional district on August 25 to push the Democrat’s economic agenda that centers around American manufacturing. 

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