Congress has been on recess for more than a week now, allowing members of the House and Senate to return to their home communities and hear the voices of their constituents in person. Or, at least, that is what members of Congress are supposed to be doing while away from Washington.
Restore Progress recently reported on a number of Republicans, in both the House and the Senate, who have refused to meet with their constituents or host customary town hall meetings in their districts. Their primary motivation for skipping these local events was a cowardly fear of the backlash they might face, as willing enablers of the Trump administration’s extreme agenda.
As reported by The Intercept, in a recess earlier this year, House Speaker Paul Ryan also skipped meeting with his constituents. His reason, however, was far more transactional: instead of meeting with his voters, Ryan was jetting from state to state, mega donor to mega donor, begging for money.
From The Intercept: “House Speaker Paul Ryan snubbed his Wisconsin constituents during the President’s Day congressional recess, refusing to hold even a single town hall. Local activists appeared at his office in Racine to demand a meeting. Others placed a tongue-in-cheek missing person advertisement on Craigslist, asking for the whereabouts of their elected representative. Ryan ‘fled sometime in and around January 20, 2017, and hasn’t been seen since,’ the ad stated.”
“Newly filed campaign filings show what Ryan was doing instead: jetting around the country, raking in a whopping $657,400 in contributions in just nine days.”
Time and again, Ryan has been revealed as an empty suit – a man who cloaks himself in “big ideas,” but whose agenda is almost entirely focused granting massive tax cuts to the ultra wealthy, at the expense of the poor and the social programs they rely on. So perhaps it is inaccurate to say that Ryan avoided meeting with his constituents over recess. His real constituents, it would appear, are the billionaires who open their wallets for him – not the people of Wisconsin.