Saturday, he went to a basketball game -- but not to see the game. "I did what I call a 360, which is a walk around the arena," he said. "I must talk to 20 or 30 people at every revolution around the arena."
After a full week of committee hearings, votes and meetings in Washington, next weekend is booked with pancake breakfasts, funerals, church services and constituent calls.
Whatever problems Congress has reaching agreement on the critical issues facing the country, it's not because they don't put in the hours.
A study released today by the Congressional Management Foundation finds the typical member of Congress works 59 hours a week while in his or her district -- and 70 hours when in Washington.
So why isn't anything getting done? Congress is coming off one if its least productive years in history. It remains gridlocked over the budget. And its approval rating is hovering at about 15%, according to Gallup.
"Is it a people problem or a process problem? It's possible it's not a people problem. You're not looking at unmotivated, lazy people here," said Bradford Fitch, president of the Congressional Management Foundation.
"This is a study that looks at their work ethic, not their work product," he said. "Let's not mistake activity for achievement."
Even when in Washington, actual legislating -- working with other lawmakers to draft laws, hold hearings and vote on bills -- occupies only about a third of a member's time. The remaining time is taken up with constituent service, politics, fundraising, media relations and administrative work, according to the first-of-its-kind study.
"One of the least important things they do is vote on final action on the floor -- because so much of that is preordained anyway," Fitch said. "Most people view Congress through the prism of C-SPAN and think that's what they're doing all the time."
Most members surveyed seem to be happy with a new schedule, instituted by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, which gives members frequent breaks to work in their districts. They said their schedules are more predictable, their time in Washington is more productive, and they're happier with their family time.
Cohen, now in his fourth term, said while he enjoys the comforts of home, "I think we'd get more work done if we spent more time in Washington."
"I think we need to get our work done, and we're not getting it done now. We come in, we go straight to votes, and then we go to our separate quarters," he said. "We don't really get to know each other anymore."