Baseball, Adele, national parks: How California House members spent summer vacation

Baseball, Adele, national parks: How California House members spent summer vacation
Rep. Linda Sanchez posted these photos to Instagram after throwing out the first pitch at a Dodgers game last month. (Instagram)

How did you spend summer vacation? Some members of Congress caught a baseball game, traveled the country campaigning and sat down for meeting after meeting with folks back home.

Members of the U.S. House and Senate are set to return to Washington on Tuesday after seven weeks away that included both national party conventions and what they like to call a “district work period” — not to be mistaken for a “vacation.”

This election year, the House is on track to spend just 111 days in session, and the other 254 days somewhere else.

House members are scheduled to leave Washington again Sept. 30, with senators following them home the week after. Though they are scheduled to return to Washington the week after the election to wrap up what’s left to be done for four weeks of a so-called “lame duck” session, there are rumblings they won’t stay long.

Still, they made time for fun

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy stopped by singer Adele’s concert in California.

A few members headed to the ballpark, and Rep. Mimi Walters (R-Irvine) welcomed the (new) Los Angeles Rams training camp to her district.

Retiring Rep. Sam Farr (D-Carmel) attended the National Park Service’s centennial event at Pinnacles National Park. The congressman spent years working to get the site the national designation.

Others soaked in a bit of time outdoors.

Summer job

A few members pitched in to learn about their constituents’ businesses first hand. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista) took a spin behind the counter at a gas station in his district.

And no list of what members did over the last few weeks would be complete without some of the hundreds of meetings they had with constituents.

Veteran suicide awareness

Some members participated in a challenge to do pushups to draw attention to the 22 veterans who commit suicide on average every day. Similar to the ice-bucket challenge that swept the Internet in August 2014 and raised more than $100 million for ALS research, members of Congress (along with celebrities and the public) are recording themselves doing pushups and then challenging each other to participate.

Hitting the trail

The long break was a prime chance for members to kick off their reelection campaigns, or to get out the vote for other candidates.

With Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s lagging poll numbers, Democrats are doubling down in hopes they can scrape together the 30 more seats they need to regain control of the chamber. House Democratic Caucus Chairman Xavier Becerra of Los Angeles and other Democrats and Republicans made campaign stops for colleagues around the country.

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Read more about the 55 members of California's delegation at



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