Lawmakers just received a one-week recess the first week of July, in honor of Independence Day. Their next recess is scheduled for the entire month of August, from July 31 through September 4.
The five-week August recess is a tradition that has occurred for decades, but now some Senate Republicans are demanding that the GOP skip the vacation and stay at work.
Eight senators have sent a letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), and also met with him personally, asking him to cancel the August break, as they fear the frequent breaks are not going to leave them enough time to get the necessary legislation passed, such as healthcare reform, tax code reform, vote on an infrastructure bill and plan a budget.
Currently on the agenda is the repeal and replacement of Obamacare, and tax reform is next on the schedule. Major legislation with regards to the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Flood Insurance Program, as well as spending bills also need to be acted upon.
Many of those who have spoken out against the recess are newly elected senators who say their constituents are looking for productivity.
Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) explained, “Most of us are new, so we are very close to what people back home are telling us. And they expect results up here.”
Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) said he realizes the August recess is a long-standing tradition, this year it should be abandoned.
“What we are running out of is time. We can create more time. We can do that. What should be more sacred, in our view, is getting things done,” Sullivan said.
Sen. Luther Strange, (R-Ala.), elected earlier this year, said, “I’m urging the leadership to keep us here.”
The complete 2017 Congressional Calendar lists all scheduled recesses for the Senate and the House.
Many Republican senators are already admitting that their bill to repeal and replace Obamacare is likely “dead,” as they currently do not have enough support to get it passed.
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