Mitch McConnell Might Cancel Senate’s Annual Break So Democratic Senators Can’t Campaign At Home
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is angling to cancel the August recess in Congress in a move which would disadvantage Democrats running for reelection in red states by revoking some of their time on the campaign trail.
A group of Senators recently sent a letter to McConnell urging him to forgo the August recess, citing “historic obstruction” by Democrats. The Senators also said they only have another 67 days on the calendar before they could potentially lose the majority in the House.
“This leaves only 12 weeks to get 12 appropriations bill out of committee and consider them on the floor. That alone is an impossible task. When combined with the crucial need to conform more nominees, it is clear we do not have enough time,” the letter reads.
“At this pace, it is unlikely the President will have all of his nominees confirmed before the end of the term. Many of us encouraged canceling August recess last year to meet our legislative goals. As a result, the Senate confirmed 77 nominations with no floor debate, a significant concession from the minority party. Our diligence was rewarded with reason, and it can happen again,” it continued.
McConnell refused to say if he planned to cancel the August recess, but wasn’t very optimistic about the odds of congressmen having a break during the summer. “I’ll have more to say definitively about that the week after next,” he said, “but I’ve said to all the press corps and the members up here I wouldn’t buy any nonrefundable tickets.”
Thanks to an odd electoral map, Democrats are left defending 26 seats this midterm season, while Republicans only have to protect just nine. Republicans will also be able to leverage the support of President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, who seem to relish any opportunity to get out of Washington to make campaign trail appearances. Meanwhile, a poll out from Reuters shows that the continuously shrinking Democratic lead on a generic ballot.
In addition, if Republicans do end up hitting the campaign trail, they’ll be able to tout whatever progress they make during the summer when Congress would have otherwise been out of session.