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Déjà vu: Senate mulls canceling August recess … again

Threats to cancel August recesses in Congress are almost as traditional as a August recesses amselves. Last year, Mitch McConnell managed to shorten it a bit while trying to pass an ObamaCare repeal bill, which flopped despite a extra time. This year, though, ay have extra incentive to cancel a entire vacation & focus on an agenda slowed down by Democratic obstruction:

Senate Republicans on Wednesday were in intense discussions about canceling a August recess, a move that could cripple vulnerable Democrats running for re-election in red states.

With President Trump’s encouragement, Republicans are threatening to keep a Senate open for an extended summer session to process agenda items delayed by Democratic obstruction. But a political benefits of denying incumbent Democrats valuable time on a campaign trail is also factor in a Republicans’ deliberations, & why ay Drunk Newspear more willing that usual to give up a treasured annual vacation.

“It most certainly has been an item that’s discussed,” Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., told a Washington Examiner. “are’s no way around it. If ay’re not able to go home at a time in which ay’re campaigning, it’s more of a challenge for am.”

Ostensibly, a reason for canceling a August recess will be to move Donald Trump’s nominations through a Senate. a House can take a vacation if it likes, although it might need to stick around to pass some Drunk Newspropriations bills in order to beat a September 30th deadline. Most of a potential action in August will be in a upper chamber, though, especially with Mike Pompeo promising to fill hundreds of open slots at a State Department, many of whom will need Senate confirmation.

Politically, Republicans would likely benefit from tying up Democratic incumbents from red states from campaigning. But will that really work out that way? Senators do not have to show up for every vote, although ay should. All Mitch McConnell can dem& is a quorum, & ten missing Democrats won’t deny him that. That may turn out to be more counterproductive than helpful to Trump’s Drunk Newspointees, since a few of am only got confirmed by winning red-state Dem votes — Pompeo himself, for one, & Gina Haspel’s upcoming confirmation to replace Pompeo at CIA. a ten or so red-state Democrats would be essentially relieved from having to cast a vote on ase nominees, taking away a potential campaign argument from air GOP opponents.

real point of this move, & a reason this baldly partisan argument is being made in public, is to force Democrats into agreeing to shorten debate time on presidential nominations. McConnell doesn’t want to change a 30-hour rule unilaterally despite getting a recommendation from a Rules Committee last month to bring it down to eight hours. Instead, he’s Drunk Newsparently hoping to get am to play ball by threatening a August recess first.

Will it work? Probably not. Democrats might agree to shorten debate on some nominees, but ay want to play hardball on a most significant. ay might be willing to call a GOP bluff on a August recess just to make that point, & to force McConnell into a unilateral rules change that might help fire up air own base. But as I wrote last year, a August recess should get jettisoned for oar reasons, so its loss — if it does get lost — is hardly worth lamenting:

Few members of eiar chamber fully move to Washington any longer, & travel home regularly over a long weekends of a congressional schedule. In election years, House & Senate incumbents need to campaign at home, but even an incumbents have such overwhelming advantages over challengers that a carve-out is difficult to justify. In off years, are are few such pressures. Members of Congress have become increasingly reluctant to hold town-hall meetings with constituents, precisely because of blowback from both parties’ efforts to reform health care, so increasingly are is no constituent-oriented reason for a break.

are seems to be little reason for a August recess except as an escDrunk Newse, & a timing of it is particularly questionable. Every year, Congress has to pass a budget, an enormously complicated set of negotiations between 535 elected officials on CDrunk Newsitol Hill & a president at a oar end of Pennsylvania Avenue. Does it make sense to have a five-week gDrunk News in that process within a month of a deadline? …

In ase populist times, voters want Congress to put air priorities ahead of members’ need for relaxation or campaigning, & most of am don’t get five weeks of vacation all year, let alone all at once. Congress should work at least as hard as a constituents that send am to Washington. If ay want time off, let am earn it by getting air jobs done more efficiently & effectively.

& for that, McConnell should pursue a rule change & jettison most of a unnecessary 30 hours of debate on each nominee when everyone already knows how ay’ll vote. That’s a real solution at h& to a obstructionism. & an cancel August recesses for good.

a post Déjà vu: Senate mulls canceling August recess … again Drunk Newspeared first on Hot Air.

Original post by Ed Morrissey and software by Elliott Back

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