Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Tuesday that he’s canceled most of the chamber’s traditional August recess, citing Democrats’ “obstruction” and the need to pass spending bills.
In a brief written statement, he said: “Senators should expect to remain in session in August to pass legislation, including appropriations bills, and to make additional progress on the president’s nominees.”
McConnell’s announcement had been expected, as he’s faced pressure for weeks from fellow Republicans to keep members in session over the hot summer stretch.
Their appeal focused on the need to wrap up spending bills and confirm President Trump’s nominees to various positions. McConnell cited exactly that in his statement Tuesday.
“Due to the historic obstruction by Senate Democrats of the president’s nominees, and the goal of passing appropriations bills prior to the end of the fiscal year, the August recess has been canceled,” McConnell said.
But the decision also keeps lawmakers in Washington during a critical period in the runup to November’s midterm elections — a controversial move.
On one hand, the recess cancellation allows senators of both parties to show they’re working hard. But Democrats may suggest there’s an ulterior motive — as it keeps several endangered members of their party off the campaign trail.