WASHINGTON (USA TODAY) — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Tuesday the Senate will delay the start of its summer recess to finish action on repealing Obamacare and other priority items.
“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,” McConnell said in a statement.
The Senate, which usually leaves for a month-long summer recess in August, had been scheduled to go on break at the end of July but has been under pressure to cancel recess to do more work.
The announcement came shortly after a group of senators, mostly freshmen, called for leaders to skip the August recess so the Senate could handle critical business, including health care and tax reform.
"We're very serious about it and I'm hoping that the whole caucus will agree to that and hopefully the Democrats will agree to that,'' said Sen. John Kennedy, a freshman Republican from Louisiana. He said Congress still needs to finish health care, tax reform and flood insurance.
"I just don't see how we can get it all done" before the end of July, he said.
McConnell said once the Senate finishes its work on a bill to overhaul health care, it will also work on the National Defense Authorization Act and backlog of Judicial nominations, which he said have been “been mindlessly stalled by Democrats.”