What Does It Mean When Congress Is In Recess?

Congress Convenes On Columbus Day As Government Shutdown Continues
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A Congressional session runs for one year, 3 January to sometime in December. But Congress does not meet each and every business day of the year. When Congress has recessed, business has been put "on hold."

For example, Congress often holds business sessions only on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, so that legislators can visit their constituents over a long weekend that includes a work day. At such times, Congress has not adjourned but is, instead, recessed.

Congress also recesses the week of a federal holiday.

The Legislative Reorganization Act of 1970 stipulated a 30-day recess each August, except in time of war.

During a recess, a President can execute a pocket-veto or make recess appointments. Also see Adjournment