GOP senators to McConnell: Cancel August recess

A group of Republican senators are requesting August recess be canceled or shortened to give the party more time to make progress on its legislative agenda.

The group, which includes Georgia’s David Perdue, Montana’s Steve Daines, Iowa’s Joni Ernst, Louisiana’s John Kennedy, Oklahoma’s James Lankford, Utah’s Mike Lee, South Dakota’s Mike Rounds, Alabama’s Luther Strange, Alaska’s Dan Sullivan and North Carolina’s Thom Tillis wrote Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Friday about the need to focus on five priorities: fixing health care, funding the government, dealing with the debt ceiling, passing a budget resolution, and improving the tax code.

“Our current Senate calendar shows only 33 potential working days remaining before the end of the fiscal year,” the senators wrote. “This does not appear to give us enough time to adequately address the issues that demand immediate attention. Therefore, we respectfully request that you consider truncating, if not completely forgoing, the scheduled August state work period, allowing us more time to complete our work.”

“Delivering meaningful results was never assumed to be easy, but the millions of Americans who placed their confidence in our leadership expect our full and best effort,” the senators added.

A spokesperson for McConnell told CNN that he has yet to comment on the senators’ letter.

Earlier this week, McConnell delayed the vote on health care bill until after the July 4 recess, telling GOP senators that he wants to make changes to the bill, get a new Congressional Budget Office score and have a vote after the holiday.

President Donald Trump took a different approach Friday, calling for the immediate repeal of the Affordable Care Act and replacing it later with another health care plan if Republican senators are unable to pass their bill.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin originally promised that the Trump administration would get tax reform passed by August, but Republican lawmakers have said that won’t happen until health reform is passed.

House Republicans, meanwhile, were focused this week on putting the final touches on a bold budget proposal that would boost military spending beyond what Trump desires and slash billions from welfare and other entitlement programs.