No More Recess, McConnell Tells Obstructionist Dems

Senator John Cornyn speaks to the media during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., May 22, 2018.

It's expected senators will return home for the first week in August, but come back to steamy DC for the remainder of the month.

"Senators should expect to remain in session in August to pass legislation, including appropriation bills, and to make additional progress on the president's nominees", the majority leader added.

Sasse called for McConnell to make this move in a letter to the Majority Leader last month.

Conservative lawmakers and groups have been pressing McConnell to keep lawmakers in session to address almost 150 federal judicial vacancies - a number Democrats attribute to GOP delaying tactics during President Barack Obama's last years in office.

Congressional leaders have traditionally threatened to cancel the summer recess amid mounting legislative agendas.

Not all is lost for senators hoping to take a break.

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McConnell also said Tuesday that he wants to pass as many annual spending bills as possible before the September 30 end of the federal fiscal year.

Asked if his shortening of the recess was aimed at pressuring Democrats to halt delaying tactics against Trump's nominees, McConnell showed no willingness of reviving the break if the pace of nominations quickens.

The Senate will now recess for one week in August instead of four, said McConnell, R-Ky.

That will take time away from the campaign trail for senators on the ballot in November, and the change will have a lopsided effect on Democrats.

Republicans have urged Trump to share what his end game is with them amid fears that the tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the European Union, Canada and Mexico could lead to retaliatory measures from key trading allies. "We assume he'll be here in Washington working right alongside us".

"I'm all for cooperation, but if you look at the amount of work that we have to do, it's inconceivable to me that we can't use these weeks", said McConnell.

Hirono also objected to McConnell's charges of obstructionism against Trump nominees, saying, "If anything, there have been more confirmations fast-tracked to lifetime appointments to the judiciary, appointments of people who fit the ideological, conservative, right-wing Federalist Society perspective that Trump wants to put on the judiciary for lifetime appointments".

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