WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Tuesday that the August recess will be delayed.
The Senate will work in Washington during the first two weeks of August, instead of allowing senators to be back in their home states.
“Once the Senate completes its work on health care reform, we will turn to other important issues including the National Defense Authorization Act and the backlog of critical nominations that have been mindlessly stalled by Democrats,” McConnell said in a statement.
“In order to provide more time to complete action on important legislative items and process nominees that have been stalled by a lack of cooperation from our friends across the aisle, the Senate will delay the start of the August recess until the third week of August,” he added.
McConnell, who was under pressure to cancel August recess altogether by members of his party, made the announcement during a weekly lunchtime meeting with his conference.
The group of Republican senators, led by Georgia Sen. David Perdue, sent a letter to McConnell on June 30 asking to “truncate” or “forgo” the August Recess all together given the limited number of legislative days on the calendar available.
The letter was signed by Republican Senators Perdue, Steve Daines, of Montana, Joni Ernst of Iowa, John Kennedy Louisiana, James Lankford Oklahoma, Mike Lee of Utah, Mike Rounds of South Dakota, Luther Strange of Alabama, Dan Sullivan of Alaska, and Thom Tillis of North Carolina.
The members pointed to “five imperatives” they felt needed to be accomplished in 2017: Complete the first phase of Obamacare repeal and replace, pass a budget, appropriate government funding and deal with the debt limit before the September 30 deadline.
“Growing the economy, repairing our infrastructure, and rebuilding our military are all dependent on accomplishing the tasks before us,” the group letter stated.
The group put out a statement on Tuesday responding to McConnell’s decision to delay August recess, saying: “We are glad leadership took our concerns into consideration. It is time to get results for the American people.”