Congress Leaves Town For An Early Week of Recess

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

We've known this was coming, but we can now fairly conclusively say that most of the federal government will be funded by a continuing resolution to avoid a shutdown on October 1st.

Roll Call reported this afternoon that appropriators have reached a deal to fund the government through December 7th, a date that must be familiar by now because that's been the magic date every year for as long as I can remember at this point.

House Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen announced at a meeting of House and Senate conferees on the combined spending bill for Defense, and Labor-Health and Human Services-Education, that the conference report will include a continuing resolution through that date, for departments and agencies not otherwise funded.

“We have reached resolution on all items and completed our work on these bills,” the New Jersey Republican said of the two bills in conference Thursday morning.

Congressional Republican leaders have agreed to hold votes on two spending bills.

One is a clean funding bill for multiple agencies and departments packaged together in a so-called "minibus" that is more or less a continuing resolution it its own right. Funding for defense, health care and education was sandwiched together to protect it from poison pills, protest votes and a possible veto.

The other bill will be an actual continuing resolution that covers everything else not included in the "minibus."

Now, as the headline indicates, Congress will not be voting on the continuing resolution today or tomorrow because they're leaving town. The House was scheduled to leave for recess tomorrow, but members were informed this morning that they can leave tonight.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy made the announcement to members during a closed-door meeting of the House Republican Conference Thursday morning. The news became official with a scheduling update from the California Republican’s office sent shortly after 10 a.m.

“I have informed the members that we will be departing today ... so that members can catch their flights back to their districts,” McCarthy said, noting some members remained in their districts this week.

Congress will not return to Washington until September 25th, meaning a continuing resolution is the only thing they will have time to pass before the fiscal year deadline.

The House was only in session for one day this week. Today.

It's a great job if you can get it.

  • katanahamon

    When I wasn’t disabled, I played a solo position in the symphony. No matter how sick I was, or whatever I had going on, when the conductor pointed at me, I had to come up with the magic, and twenty five years of stellar reviews prove I could do it. I’ve always envied (or actually, been disgusted by) people that could get paid for never actually doing anything, or be paid for not having any discernible skills.

  • muselet

    I’m old enough to remember Newton Leroy Gingrich’s impassioned cry, “We must spend more time among our constituents!” as he slashed the number of days the House would be in session.

    Of course, he never gave a monkey’s about meeting with constituents, but he cared passionately about making Congress look inefficient and incompetent. The current R leadership is simply following in Newt’s hoofprints.


    • Draxiar

      He also needed time to find to find his future ex-Mrs. Gingrich.

  • Well, this delays the Kavanaugh vote, which I hope will get delayed further by his being under investigation by the FBI (which I hope will come out of Sen. Feinstein’s referral today).

    • JMAshby

      McConnell has been talking about keeping members in session in October, so he might try to do it then.

      The Senate Judiciary Committee is going to vote next week.

      • I’m just blown away by the fact that Grassley and the GOP knew about these rape allegations a week ago and they STILL plan to confirm the guy. It gives them no pause whatsoever. Is there no bottom to their venality, perfidy, misogyny…?!

        • MadJuana