In Washington, D.C., it's a startling development. Congressional leaders are saying Congress will work five days a week.
Rep. Steny Hoyer, a Maryland Democrat and the House majority leader, says members of Congress need to spend more time in the capital to pass laws and oversee federal agencies.
Hoyer says members can bid farewell to extended holidays.
I'm sure it's enough to make some veteran lawmakers sick to their stomachs. Imagine having to work a five-day week. In Washington, many politicians view that idea with total horror.
Of course, most Americans seem to think that our legislators should be doing something in return for their tax-funded paychecks.
I was hoping Congress would have taken a different approach. Instead of adopting the five-day workweek like everybody else, Congress could have mandated that businesses follow in politicians' footsteps and embrace a three-day workweek.
I'm sure most hardworking Americans would have been thrilled by such a schedule.
I know that my older daughter, Becca, recently told me that she really enjoyed her first week of the new semester at Central High School because she had only three days of classes that week. She suggested it would be great if school regularly was in session only three days a week. That would leave more time for her to shop and watch her favorite TV shows.
I laughed at the idea of a three-day school week. I couldn't conceive of such a schedule, particularly since some people are suggesting that American children need longer school years to get truly educated.
But then I wasn't thinking about Congress at the time.
Apparently Congress wasn't thinking much about anything last year. Critics accused Congress of being a "do-nothing" legislature.
But in all fairness, it's hard to get a lot done with a three-day workweek.
And if we all can't limit our labor, I suppose it only makes sense for America's legislators to be on the job Monday through Friday. That's not asking too much. They'd still have weekends off, which would be a better schedule than most retail employees have.
Why wouldn't we want our politicians to work five days a week? On the surface, we hate to think they can skate by while the rest of us have our noses to the grindstone.
But ultimately this five-day workweek for Congress could be bad news for the American people.
The more hours lawmakers hang around the Capitol, the greater the chance that they'll pass some really bad piece of legislation that will hit us in our pocketbooks.
I subscribe to the wisdom of famed pundit Will Rogers who once said, "This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer."
At least when they're not in Washington, they're not voting on something.
You just never know what they might come up with when they're on the job. Some bills in Congress are scarier than a Stephen King novel.
And Congress typically passes hundreds of bills every year, most of which get far less publicity than a single episode of "American Idol."
I don't think our Founding Fathers ever expected legislating to be a full-time job. If they had, they would have declared that only professional politicians could serve in Congress.
But now that our lawmakers are going to have more regular business hours, I think it's important to give them something to do, like sort the mail or spend more time editing their chicken-dinner speeches.
We don't want them to spend too much time legislating our lives.
Mark Bliss is a staff writer for the Southeast Missourian.