GOP senators call to cancel August recess for Congress

A group of 10 senators sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Friday asking to shorten the scheduled August recess — or perhaps cancel it entirely — in order to catch up on their aggressive legislative agenda.

On top of things heating up with the plan to repeal and replace Obamacare and tackling tax reform, the Republicans are up against major deadlines to fund the government by Oct. 1 and avoid another shutdown while also lifting the debt ceiling and avoid defaulting on the nation’s debt.

In light of the fast-approaching deadline, the group of Senators are requesting for McConnell “to cancel the Senate’s scheduled August state work period if meaningful progress has not been made on the following five priorities: fixing health care, funding the government, dealing with the debt ceiling, passing the budget resolution and improving our tax code,” they senators wrote in the letter.

The Senators also point out there are “only 33 potential working days left until the end of the fiscal year,” which ends on Sept. 30. “This does not appear to give us enough time to adequately address the issues that demand immediate attention. Therefore, we respectfully request that you consider truncating, if not completely foregoing, the scheduled August state work period, allowing us more time to complete our work,” they explained.

“The stakes are much higher this year. We simply cannot afford to lose any additional time in resolving these issues when tax reform is hanging in the balance. Robust change to our tax code is our single most important economic growth tool, and there is already growing anticipation for us to act,” the senators wrote. “Failure to deliver could have devastating economic consequences.”

The letter comes one day after lawmakers began their July 4 recess and are scheduled to leave D.C. again by July 28 and not return until Sept. 5.

It was spearheaded by Sen. David Perdue, R-Georgia, and also signed by Sens. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, James Lankford, R-Oklahoma, John Kennedy, R-Louisiana, Mike Lee, R-Utah, Mike Rounds, R-South Dakota, Luther Strange, R-Alabama, Dan Sullivan, R-Arkansas, Thom Tillis, R-North Carolina and Steve Daines, R-Montana.

The House Freedom Caucus also asked House Speaker Paul Ryan to cancel the August break in recent weeks.

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