Congress is continuing its inattention to the people's business during the short time it is in session this week, between its five-week summer vacation and its departure from Washington to enable lawmakers to campaign for re-election.
A worker who wants his boss to keep him or her on the job and keep signing paychecks might show a visible burst of energy at work. So it is more astonishing than usual to see Congress ignore the large stack of important, unfinished legislation on members' desks this fall.
The House has postponed work on 12 budget bills until March. The Senate is likely to do the same before it leaves town.
The federal government will not shut down, as it otherwise would have on Sept. 30, because lawmakers passed continuing resolutions to extend this year's levels of spending. They seem to expect voters to applaud their inaction, postponing rather than confronting the problem.
Major bills remain on lawmakers' agenda, to be dealt with in the lame-duck session after the election and before the end of the year. At that point, Congress will include defeated members, retiring members, and others who have just been re-elected and will have nothing to fear from voters for another two years.
Still waiting to be addressed is the farm bill, in the face of the breathtaking drought that has hit farmers and ranchers in many states, including Ohio. Inaction on the cyber-security bill leaves the nation's electrical, communications, and transportation networks at risk.
It would be worth voters' time, when lawmakers are back in their home districts seeking renewed support, to ask them why they aren't in Washington doing their jobs. The other option is to dispense with their services at the ballot box in November.