I've seen other questions/answers here in regard to the U.S. Congress for information like what bills a particular congress person voted on, sponsored, or speeches and such. However, I am looking to see on a given day if Congress was in session or at recess.

I have found this from the senate's webpage: https://www.congress.gov/days-in-session

However this does not seem to be an easily consumable calendar format, and it only goes back to 1995.

I also found this: https://www.govtrack.us/data/us/sessions.tsv

Which is somewhat useful however there is a difference between a session which generally lasts the entire year, and which days Congress was doing business or in recess.

  • Whose classification of if they're in recess or not? There are days when the Maryland or Virginia delegate shows up, opens it then immediately closes it, so they're officially 'in session' (to block recess appointments), but they're not actually doing anything. See propublica.org/blog/item/…
    – Joe
    Nov 3, 2014 at 23:09
  • @joe ... interesting... the calendar I cited seem to indicated definite 'on' and 'off' days, it doesn't go back to Aug. 2011 though, so i am not sure what that record would have indicated. I suppose there must be there must be official 'recces' days even given there are some days that are technically not though nothing is done. Nov 3, 2014 at 23:15
  • It's possible that the more recent years they've never gone out of session because of the stuff I mentioned. The first calendar that you linked to shows them only working 2-3 day weeks. (Many in Congress these days only work Tuesday-Thursday, as they go home for weekends, and spend Monday & Fridays travelling)
    – Joe
    Nov 3, 2014 at 23:29

1 Answer 1


Keeping in mind the caveats raised in comments about what counts as being "in-session," any day that at least one chamber of Congress meets will result in an entry in the Congressional Record, which you can find at the Library of Congress. See, as an example, August when neither chamber typically meets much at all.

You should be able to scrape that page to obtain a complete calendar of session dates since 1989.

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