With the election soon approaching, Congress took a break Saturday in the hope that the election ahead will give lawmakers clarity about what Americans want from their government.

Lawmakers will return in about seven weeks and face a crowded list of must-do items, topped by avoiding what’s become known as the fiscal cliff: the combination of expiring George W. Bush-era tax cuts and automatic spending cuts that could drive the country back into recession.

Two years of rancor and a divided government resulted in one of the least productive Congresses in history. President Barack Obama piled on in his weekly radio address.

“Without much fanfare, members of the House of Representatives banged a gavel, turned out the lights, and rushed home, declaring their work finished for now,” Obama told Americans, while failing to mention the Democratic-controlled Senate. “If that frustrates you, it should — because their work isn’t finished.”