McConnell: Obstructing Dems to Blame for No Recess

The Senate majority leader says the chamber will remain in session in August to get work done.

Nate Jackson · Jun. 6, 2018

“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,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday. “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.”

Vacation was set to begin Aug. 3 and run through Labor Day, leaving just three weeks to complete appropriations work before the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30. That kind of last-minute scrambling is part of how we end up with lousy budgets like the omnibus passed in March. So McConnell did the right thing here by eliminating all but the first week of the break, and he’s in sync with President Donald Trump while doing it. “The Senate should get funding done before the August break, or NOT GO HOME,” Trump declared in May.

As McConnell noted, appropriations bills aren’t the only problem. Democrats have vigorously obstructed Trump’s nominees. Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) observed, “We still have 271 nominations to confirm.”

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) took a strategic view, saying, “We have got a historic opportunity here. It is rare to have unified Republican control of the federal government. In the last hundred years, that has only happened four times. Since World War II, we have had a total of eight years with a Republican president and majorities in both houses. We can’t waste this opportunity.”

The bad news is Republicans are quite adept at wasting opportunities.

Finally, there’s the political angle. While just one Republican senator is seeking reelection in a state Hillary Clinton won — Dean Heller in Nevada — 10 Democrats are trying to save their seats in states won by Trump. Gee, we wonder if McConnell was thinking about giving them less time on the campaign trail.

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