WASHINGTON (CNN) – House Republicans promised to run the House of Representatives differently than the Democrats, and they are starting with an overhaul of the work calendar for next year.
Incoming House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Virginia, released a schedule on Wednesday which plans for mostly four-day work weeks in Washington, and also includes regular "constituent work weeks" for members to spend back in their districts. House sessions would go for two weeks, followed by a week back home in the district.
Cantor said Republicans told leaders they wanted to cut back time in Washington to interact with constituents back home during the week, instead of mainly on weekends.
"American voters sent us a resounding message in November - Washington is out of touch with their concerns and priorities," he said in a letter.
"Through much deliberation during the transition process, members indicated the need to return home to listen to their constituents on a regular basis."
GOP members frequently criticized Democratic leaders for short work weeks, often only three days in session, with few votes on the floor.
Cantor's letter indicated their new schedule will have the House in session for about the same number of days as the Democrats did – 123 for 2011.
But a House Democratic aide tells CNN that the House was in session 148 days last year.
Cantor's letter explained, "The goal for this Congress is to stress quality over quantity in terms of the flow of legislation to the House floor. I intend to lengthen the time for consideration of bills in order to improve quality and deliver results."
Republicans pledge no more late night votes, the first votes of the week will be at 6:30 p.m. and the last vote each week will be no later than 3 p.m.
In order to give committees time to hold hearings and work on legislation, votes won't be any earlier than 1 p.m. or any later than 7 p.m. on most days.
GOP leaders already announced they are banning votes on bills that congratulate sports teams or commemorate individuals or groups.
The new session will start January 5, when new members will be sworn in and the House will vote on rules governing the chamber.
It will also officially vote to elect John Boehner as the Speaker of the House.
In previous years, the House set a "target adjournment date" to wrap up business for sometime in the early fall.
But because leaders are often unable to finish legislative business by then, the GOP has set December 8 as the final day of session for next year.