Candidates scramble as McConnell truncates August recess

Candidates scramble as McConnell truncates August recess

McConnell told a closed-door lunch that the traditionally one-month long recess in August has been knocked down to one week, a move widely supported and anticipated by fellow Republicans. Republicans control the Senate 51-49.

"It is important to remember that simply canceling the August state work period is not the goal". "We'll see. I'm hopeful we can do this in a cooperative fashion, but we've got lots of tools available".

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

Democrats, the minority party in the Senate, countered that they meant to use the extra time to push for a debate and votes on healthcare, an issue they have been touting in campaigning for congressional elections in November.

Of the 35 Senate seats up in 2018, 26 are held by Democrats.

The lawmakers will get a vacation for the first week of August and will be expected to work the rest of the month.

But the second-ranking Republican, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., undergoes treatment for brain cancer in his home state.

McConnell also said late last week at an event in Kentucky that there was "not much" Congress could do legislatively on tariffs.

Democratic co-sponsors include Mark Warner of Virginia, Brian Schatz of Hawaii and Chris Van Hollen of Maryland.

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After a roller-coaster 2017 for the Republican-controlled Senate, which failed to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act but later passed a sweeping tax bill that became law, GOP leaders have set a more modest agenda for the months leading up to the midterm elections. The Senate has so far confirmed 448 of Trump's nominees, far fewer than for any of the previous four presidents.

Democrats are pushing to pin blame on Republicans for rising health-care costs ahead of the November midterms, in which the GOP is defending its majority in both chambers.

Meanwhile, House Republicans face a self-imposed deadline Thursday for resolving an immigration standoff between GOP centrists who are forcing a vote on legislation to protect young immigrants who were brought to the country illegally as children and conservatives who want stricter immigration enforcement with money for Trump's border wall.

By contrast, only nine Republicans are up for re-election this fall, with the one in most jeopardy being Nevada Sen.

A more favorable Senate map has given them greater confidence about holding on to the upper chamber of Congress.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer pushed back on McConnell's assertions.

British Prime Minister Theresa May is telling President Donald Trump that his decision to impose tariffs and steel and aluminum imports from the European Union was "unjustified and deeply disappointing".

Congress' August recess normally is closely guarded as a time for lawmakers to take foreign "fact-finding" trips, campaign for re-election and ramp up campaign fundraising operations. At the time, the party was still trying to undo the ACA. Anyone who doesn't back their free trade principles is "going to have a harder time getting support from our network", an official with the Koch network told Quartz.

And as for McConnell's mention of passing appropriations bills on time - well, it's about time, isn't it?

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