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Senate Cancels Two Weeks of August Recess

by Countable | 7.11.17

As the Senate struggles to pass their healthcare bill, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced on Tuesday that the Senate will remain in session for the first two weeks of August. The upper chamber had planned to take the entire month off per congressional tradition.

McConnell said:

"In order to provide more time to complete action on important legislative items and process nominees that have been stalled by a lack of cooperation from our friends across the aisle, the Senate will delay the start of the August recess until the third week of August.”

It’s unclear whether the Senate will have the votes to pass a healthcare bill and send the legislation to conference committee to iron out differences with the House-passed bill. That uncertainty is delaying tax reform, as the extent of budget savings in the GOP healthcare bill would impact their budget-neutral tax reform policy.

Complicating the matter is the fact that Congress can only have one active reconciliation bill at a time. The healthcare bill and the budget are both reconciliation bills, so Congress can debate either healthcare or the budget, but not both at the same time. The longer the healthcare debate drags on, the longer Republicans will have to wait to bring up the next budget reconciliation bill, which will be their vehicle for implementing tax reform.

Basically, Congress is running way behind schedule and healthcare and tax reform are only two items in an increasingly growing and urgent list of legislative items that need to get passed in the months ahead.

The House hasn’t yet passed any of the 12 annual appropriations bills for the 2018 fiscal year. These bills fund the Department of Defense, the Justice Department, the Environmental Protection Agency, and countless other vital departments and government services. When these bills leave the House, the Senate still needs to pass them and the president must sign them into law before the end of September. If not, Congress will need to pass a continuing resolution to avoid a government shutdown.

Also, in October the Treasury runs out of the "extraordinary measures" its using to service the national debt, and Congress will need to approve an increase in the debt limit to avoid default.

Currently, the House as not indicated whether they intend to follow the Senate’s lead and remain in session for the first two weeks of August, but the House Freedom Caucus has stated that they support cancelling the August recess.

Congress has a lot to attend to before summer draws to a close.

Tell your reps whether you think the House should work through some or all of its August recess to accomplish its legislative priorities using the Take Action button.

— Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore via Flickr / Creative Commons)

Countable

Written by Countable

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(321)
  • Mac
    07/11/2017
    ···

    With the amount of toxic legislation being rammed through currently, there shouldn't be a break for a single person in that place. Kicking people off of healthcare without alternatives, slashing budgets to the environmental protection agency after appointing someone to ram it into the ground and staying completely silent about the criminal organization that is being run out of the White House should make it to where these guys never get a break, pay, or benefits again! The people are fed up with your shenanigans GOP!

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  • Leo
    07/11/2017
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    Could it be that some Senators want to spend less time in districts to avoid town hall events?

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  • KansasTamale
    07/11/2017
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    At this point in the toxic, horrible, environmentally crushing, education stamping out, healthcare murdering death panels creating Legislation I would just as soon all the republicans be on permanent recess until they can get the intestinal fortitude to stand up & kick Trump, Pence, Ryan & McConnell out of their positions and actually consider the majority of the people in this country & actually legislate bills that will help our infrastructure, get everyone on healthcare at a one payer system & take care of our water & environment.

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  • Richard
    07/11/2017
    ···

    Mr. McConnel and the Republican Party have zero room to complain about anyone not cooperating. After years of blatant obstructionism followed by doing their level best to hedge out the other side, their complains are just laughable.

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  • Jill
    07/11/2017
    ···

    Dear Representative Katko, and Senators Gillibrand and Schumer, please use the remainder of this Congressional session to focus on four areas that will make a positive difference in the lives of all in the state of New York (and across our nation): (1) Improve the ACA, rather than repeal and replace. The ACA has expanded healthcare coverage in the U.S. and that is a good thing for everyone, including those who had not had health insurance before. (2) Write and pass legislation which would improve infrastructure in the U.S. Not only would this have a positive impact on our infrastructure, but it would also improve the employment outlook for many people and have a positive ripple effect in our communities. (3) Assure - through legislative action - that immigrants and refugees continue to be welcome in the U.S. Work to tear down walls, rather than building barriers. (4) Work to ensure that the hatred and bigotry being shown to African Americans ends. This four areas matter greatly to me and I hope they matter to you, AND that you will work on them.

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  • Sandra
    07/11/2017
    ···

    I am begging my representatives for the love of all that is moral, progressive, and loving. Please stop President trump and this administration from stealing our country. My father was a WW2 veteran he fought for liberty so the world could progress and we could have a better life. The GOP intends to steal everything he fought for. I served 20 years in the Air Force. We were peace keepers not war mongers. I have never felt more hopeless, more at a loss for words about the direction this administration is taking us. Russia is not our ally!!! They are our enemy!! Please for the love of America in the next few weeks, save our country!!

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  • Kodiwodi
    07/11/2017
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    Personally I don't care if you work through Christmas but I was unaware that we had moved to the system of government by blackmail. The healthcare bill is a bad bill. The constituents told you it was a bad bill over the break. AARP, AMA, AHA, and virtually every healthcare organization in the country has told you it's a bad bill, hell you don't have enough votes in the Senate to pass it but now Lil Mitch won't let you go home until you pass it making him and the Kochs so very happy while betraying millions and millions of constituents. Between this and the budget you will destroy the country. Stand up and do your jobs.

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  • Raymond
    07/11/2017
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    Can the Republican say universal healthcare? I bet they can't!!

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  • Hank
    07/11/2017
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    You have not yet done the work you were hired to accomplish so stay until you do

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  • Mary
    07/11/2017
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    Don't repeal ACA millions of disabled elderly and. Children depend on ACA! Is this because you personally don't want it it's too costly for you wealthy congressman and senators? The majority of Americans want to save the ACA and fix what isn't working. Why can't you do as your constituents want you to do? Why are you supporting only the few who want to repeal the law? You were elected to represent US! Not yourself How can you even entertain the bill throwing millions off Medicaid, defunding planned parenthood, increasing costs of healthcare to those over 50? Reducing funds for children's healthcare yet give a tax deduction to the wealthy! Evidently you are in the pocket of big business and insurance companies! The answer is simple CAP healthcare costs!!!

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  • Deirdre
    07/11/2017
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    I think it's great that you all are actually going to do work instead of time off. I'm terrified that you (the GOP) are just going to slam thru bills and legislation that are going to be detrimental to us (the American people). Please use this xtra time productively and it would be nice if you all could actually think and care about the American people. You got voted in you can get voted out.

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  • Linda
    07/12/2017
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    Two weeks to re-work a bill that took 7 years can only bode badly for our citizens. Too many harmful parts. First, remove the tax cuts. Then fund Medicaid, Planned Parenthood. Cover all pre-existing conditions. Insist on affordable premiums and coverage for all. If GOP cannot present a fair healthcare plan, it's time to amend ACA since it is working. I do not see this happened my, so vote NO. Begin again.

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  • Ticktock
    07/11/2017
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    The Senate needs to stop fooling around leave healthcare alone as well as tax reform and move on to something they can handle like giving more tax breaks to the rich. That seems to be what they are best at.

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  • wipITsnapIT
    07/11/2017
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    The lack of legislative progress is not due to the lack of "cooperation from [your] friends across the aisle." Seriously...!? Republicans are even using the Congressional Review Act to dismantle and eliminate Obama regulations without any engagement and support from Democrats.

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  • James
    07/11/2017
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    Taking time off right now is not an option considering the situation. The senate health care bill is disastrous as it stands now and needs major rewrites. The proposal offered by Cruz is unacceptable and so are block grants, Medicare cuts, and she based insurance rates. Very few people actually want the sweeping change the Senate is proposing. Rather they want the current system tweaked to be more affordable, that's all.

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  • Jenduster
    07/12/2017
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    It stalled because it is a bad bill! More proof that the GOP are nothing but corporate shills that offer up to the private insurance companies. Start working for the people! We need universal health care now!

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  • Peter
    07/11/2017
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    Cancel the WHOLE recess and get healthcare insurance fiasco FIXED. Do it NOW,

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  • Zach
    07/12/2017
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    To Roy Blunt: This is a shameful bill that cuts taxes for the rich and takes medicare away from people like me, a kidney transplant recipient. I am 35 and will likely need another transplant along the way. If you vote on this bill you will endanger my life as well as many other people's lives.

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  • DannybAZ
    07/12/2017
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    My tax dollars go for both the Senate and House in-house OAP healthcare facilities. My taxes subsidize 70% of government employees', the Congressman's and his staff's, healthcare insurance. I demand fair and equal healthcare for all our citizens not the wealthcare of the AHCA or BCRA. We must work toward a modern national single payer healthcare as Medicare for all.

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  • Clara
    07/12/2017
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    Mitch McConnell should resign immediately!! A disgrace to our country!! Stop trying to kill all our hard working citizens, do your job and take the break and go home! After all that's what you do best!!! Go home a do nothing like you did during Obamas presidency!! Please

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