Republican leaders scrap US Senate's August recess

Alaska House of Representatives

Republican leaders scrap US Senate's August recess

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, announced Tuesday that senators would work back in their districts the first week of August but would return to Washington for the rest of the month.

McConnell told reporters last month that he'd have "something to say" about the August recess sometime this week.

Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley is among those who are uncommitted.

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said he would push for votes on expanding access to Medicare, the health insurance program for the elderly; lowering drug costs and health insurance premiums; increasing tax credits for health insurance; and making sure people with pre-existing health conditions do not get priced out of insurance.

Senate Republicans anxious about a possible trade war with USA allies Canada, Mexico and the European Union are pushing a plan to give Congress the final say over some trade actions. "It just doesn't pass the laugh test".

The House's version of the defense budget bill also gives the secretary of defense the authority to fund a military parade in Washington, D.C., to satisfy Trump's stated desire for an event like the Bastille Day parade he witnessed during his trip to Paris past year.

Schumer said that with the Senate in session during August, Trump should remain "here in Washington working with us as well, because he caused a lot of these problems". The funding deadline is September 30, just weeks before the midterm elections. Doing so could court a veto and bruise their standing with Trump voters they need in midterm elections.

McConnell also signaled last month that he would not bring a moderate immigration bill to the floor even if it passes the House unless Trump is on board.

Sen. John Cornyn, a Texas Republican and the second ranking GOP senator as whip, has suggested also that Democrats could be forced to work longer weeks in September and October - and be kept off the campaign trail during that critical stretch - if they continue to slow-walk nominees and other legislation. If they choose to skip votes and head home to campaign, they could be handing their GOP opponents opposition for ads.

One of those 10 Democrats, Sen.

On its face, it's a move that would launch a fight between a Republican Senate and the Republican president and one that would lay bare the broader questions about the role of executive versus legislative powers on trade, spotlighting the simmering intraparty ideological war over how Republicans view trade altogether.

Republican Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee says he met privately with other senators Monday and is drawing interest from both parties in such a measure. "This is nothing but raw politics".

Despite what appears to be McConnell's cynical ploy, some Democrats welcomed the chance to stay in Washington. If they can, senators should still be talking about passing something to fix the health care mess that Obamacare left behind.

"We Democrats, our entire caucus, believes this previously unscheduled session time can be put to good use to finally help Americans secure the affordable health care that President Trump and congressional Republicans have thus far failed to deliver", Schumer said Wednesday.

The four-week recess was scheduled to begin on August 6.

"I want the Senate to take up those 500 bills that are sitting there that passed in the House and get those through", said House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.

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