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McConnell Cancels August Recess, Citing Democratic Obstruction

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell (Aaron P. Bernstein / Reuters)

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell cancelled the upper chamber’s annual August recess Tuesday, citing the “historic obstruction” of his Democratic colleagues in a statement explaining his decision.

“Due to the historic obstruction by Senate Democrats of the president’s nominees, and the goal of passing appropriations bills prior to the end of the fiscal year, the August recess has been canceled,” McConnell said in the statement. “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.”

Senators were scheduled to depart Washington on August 3 and not return until after Labor Day, just three weeks before the October 1 end of the fiscal year. In order to avoid the last-second negotiations that delayed the passage of a long-term spending bill earlier this year, McConnell is now calling on senators to return to Washington after taking just one week off in early August.

The announcement comes roughly one month after President Trump publicly demanded that the Senate cancel its August recess in order to avoid a standoff similar to the one that resulted in a stopgap spending bill in March.

“The Senate should get funding done before the August break, or NOT GO HOME,” Trump said in the May 12 tweet.

The Trump administration has railed against the Democratic obstruction of nominees since the president took office. As of early March, 43 percent of Trump’s nominations were still awaiting confirmation before the Senate.

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