Some Republican lawmakers are floating the idea of cutting short or even canceling their annual August recess in order to work on their unfinished agenda, The Hill newspaper reports.
“I think there’s a majority that probably supports being here,” Sen. David Perdue, R-Georgia, told The Hill.
Perdue added that he doesn’t want Congress to wait until the last minute to be forced to pass a short-term spending bill in September in order to avoid a government shutdown. That outcome, however, is what usually happens on Capitol Hill.
Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, told The Hill, “I think absolutely we should truncate or cancel recess. We have a huge agenda. I think we can get a lot of it done but what we don’t have is time.”
Rep. Tom Cole, R-Oklahoma, a key member of the House Appropriations Committee, said the fact that they’re behind in crafting and marking up spending bills may “necessitate us being here some time in August,” the report said.
The conservative Freedom Caucus in the House called on GOP leaders earlier this month to cancel recess in order to work on tax reform and other priorities.
Neither Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin nor Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, have suggested lawmakers’ month-long recess could be canceled this year.
In recent years, recess hasn’t been cut short despite the various government funding and debt ceiling deadlines Congress has faced. Last summer, House Democrats called on their Republican colleagues to cancel their seven-week recess to tackle the Zika, opioid epidemic and deal with gun violence. It was never canceled.
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