Congress

McConnell Cancels August Recess to Spend More Time Doing Nothing

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Well, not literally nothing, but close to it.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the announcement yesterday and his short list of objectives includes only one thing they have any chance of accomplishing.

The Senate majority leader said Tuesday that the Senate will take a break for only the first week of August because of "historic obstruction" by Senate Democrats and will stay in session the rest of the month. [...]

"The August recess has been canceled. 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," McConnell said.

Confirming Trump's nominees is the only thing they may actually accomplish in August and that's the real reason for McConnell's decision; he wants to confirm more nominees before they lose control of Congress.

Mitch McConnell and the Senate Republicans will not be passing any major legislation or appropriations bills as House Republicans cannot even pass their own bills along party lines and, as of this writing, Speaker Paul Ryan has not canceled their August recess yet.

If you assume there's no chance they will move major legislation, then there's no reason for Ryan to cancel House recess because the House does not confirm nominees.

Given that August is still two months away, and given that there are two more months between August and the November election, you may ask why McConnell would cancel the August recess just to confirm more nominees. The answer is because the entire month of September will be consumed by a mad dash to avoid a government shutdown on October 1st. And after the government is funded, Washington will become a ghost town until after the election if not until January.

Our annual ritual of struggling to avoid a government shutdown at the end of the fiscal year is directly related to the GOP's inability to pass appropriations bills. It's no coincidence that we've talked about a government shutdown at the same time every year since at least 2011 when Republicans first took partial control of Congress.

The Republican party is not a governing party.

  • ninjaf

    Was it in the comments here (or maybe it was on Twitter?) that another reason being tossed around is because Trump is rumored to be wanting to fire Sessions and make a recess appointment in August while they are out of town?

  • Ceoltoir

    Not one mention that many key cabinet positions remain unfilled because the toddler can’t be bothered to do his job.

  • Aynwrong

    The obviousness with which Republicans project their worst behavior onto the Democrats seem to their greatest talent. That, and getting away with it.

  • muselet

    The “historic obstructiion” by Senate Democrats. Right.

    If the Ds gain control of the Senate, expect McConnell to spend every waking hour working to confirm as many of Donald Trump’s nominees as possible, even though—to paraphrase McConnell himself—the American people will have had a voice in those momentous decisions

    It’s amazing Mitch McConnell can find clothes that fit, given the size of his balls.

    –alopecia

    • Draxiar

      The shamelessness and hypocrisy of this man is endless. NPR this morning had a sound bite (byte?) of him saying this and I think I invented new cuss words in my anger. This is also the kind of shit I wish he would get called on. I want some ballsy as fuck journalist to interview him and ask, “You stated that there has been historic obstruction but you also vowed to make Obama a one term president, ostensibly by obstructing. You also stole a Supreme Court seat by blocking Merrick Garland from any confirmation a year before the end of the Obama Presidency. The Republicans have a majority in Congress so how then do you justify your past actions paired with the majority in Congress and claim ‘historic obstruction’? Explain yourself you irredeemable cunt.”

      • Victor the Crab

        McConnell’s answer: “Because, FUCK YOU, THAT’S WHY!!!!!

  • gescove

    McConnell blaming “historic obstruction” on Democrats is pretty rich.

    • Draxiar

      And yet morally bankrupt.