Republican senators renew threat to hold up Memorial Day recess

Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, has renewed his threat to hold up the Memorial Day recess in a letter sent on Thursday to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid — and this time most of his Republican colleagues are supporting him.

Sessions originally announced his intent to object to adjourn for recess on Monday, saying the Senate should not leave until it fulfills its duty to work toward production and passage of a budget.

In his second letter Thursday, Sessions, along with his Republican colleagues, reiterated the threat.

“[W]e respectfully request that you delay any adjournment of this body until you or members of your party in the Senate bring forward a budget resolution and schedule a meeting of the Budget Committee,” the letter read.

It went on to say, “Until a budget plan is made public, and until that plan is scheduled for committee action, on what basis can the Senate justify returning home for a one-week vacation and recess while our spending and debt continue to spiral dangerously out of control?”

The letter was even signed by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. According to one Republican staffer, McConnell’s support is notable because it is rare for the minority leader to oppose adjourning for recess and to sign on to a letter to the majority leader.

While opposing the recess will not, in and of itself, prevent the Senate from adjourning, it will force lawmakers to bring adjourning for recess to a vote.

The Senate already voted down four budget proposals on Wednesday — none of them were thought to have had a realistic chance at passing. The vote to adjourn should take place sometime Thursday evening.