Heard on the Hill

If it’s possible to ‘win’ August recess, these members did

Just don’t call it a vacation

Iowa's senior senator celebrates touring all of Iowa’s 99 counties with a brain freeze. (Courtesy Sen. Chuck Grassley/Instagram)

August is traditionally the time when members of Congress take a monthlong break from D.C., escaping the sweaty, oppressively hot swamp for their individual states. Recess, a tradition that predates air conditioning, is now known as a “district work period” — because lawmakers HATE that you’re in any way implying that they’re on vacation.

While their constituents are judging members on how much “work” they did during their time in their districts this August, we’re judging them based on who looked like they had the most fun.

Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley

For the last 39 years, the Iowa Republican has toured all 99 counties in his native state. And after each successful trip, he likes to treat himself. This year, the 85-year old celebrated with Dairy Queen’s Snickers Blizzard (which thankfully returned in August after a three-year hiatus from the menu).

As fans of frozen treats (McFlurries, Sonic Blasts, Chick-fil-A milkshakes), we can’t help but envy Grassley. But really, who deserves it more than the health-conscious octogenarian? He runs three miles at least four times a week “so I don’t get fat,” he once told CQ Roll Call.

Sometimes you just gotta treat yo self (shrug emoji).

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders

We have absolutely no context to this Washington Examiner video of the Vermont independent getting TKO’d by a speed bag, but all you need to know is that it exists. Bernie did not win nor lose at August recess — the real winner here was the internet.

New Jersey Rep. Mikie Sherrill

The New Jersey Democrat spent some of her recess with a golden retriever puppy named Zeus. He’s being trained at The Seeing Eye, a guide dog school in Morristown, New Jersey, to help the blind and visually impaired. Zeus has done more in his short life than all of us combined, and if you question our justification on why Sherrill won recess, we question your humanity.

Illinois Rep. Cheri Bustos

The Illinois Democrat or “Mother of the Groom” for a third time, according to her Instagram, celebrated the marriage of her youngest son in August. “We feel blessed to have another wonderful daughter-in-law,” she wrote in the caption.

Senate Majority Whip John Thune

Props to the South Dakota Republican for earning enough trust from his children to allow him to practice his juggling routine with his own grandchild.

Thune took to Instagram to show off his new trick: balancing his youngest grandchild, Lucy, in one hand. The tyke seems to be having the time of her young life. Important to note here that Thune, a GRAND-father, is in better shape than us.

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise

The Louisiana Republican finally decided to weigh in on the Great Chicken Sandwich War of August 2019. It may not come as a surprise that someone who represents the New Orleans suburbs chose Popeyes, the Louisiana-based chain that started in his district.

As someone who has tried the Popeyes chicken sandwich, let me (Clyde) just say that it’s OK, but Chick-fil-A is still the king. Sorry.

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