David Perdue renews push for Senate to work through August recess
By Al Weaver
May 8, 2018
Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., called Tuesday for the Senate to cancel the August recess so the chamber can remain in session to confirm nominees and pass legislation.
“We have a number of senators who will submit a letter to [Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.] later this week … and that letter will basically, again, encourage the leader to keep us here weekends, on Mondays and Fridays when necessary, and certainly in the August break if we haven’t funded the government by then,” Perdue said at a press conference.
Perdue, joined by Marc Short, the White House director of legislative affairs, and conservative leaders, hit Senate Democrats for their “clear and abusive obstructionism” in blocking nominees.
A group of GOP senators sent a similar letter to McConnell last year imploring their colleagues to remain in town during the August recess, Perdue said.
He also floated the idea of eliminating the 30-hour rule just as Senate Democrats eliminated the 60-vote threshold for federal judges and Senate Republicans did for Supreme Court nominees.
Perdue added the Senate should pass a government funding package prior to the August recess to ensure President Trump is not put in the same spot he was in March when he begrudgingly signed the omnibus spending deal to avoid a partial government shutdown.
He noted there are only 69 Senate work days between now and Sept. 30 — the end of the fiscal year — including Mondays and Fridays. The Senate is usually in session four days a week before lawmakers return to their home state.
Read more in Washington Examiner.
McConnell To Hold Senate In Session For Longer Workweeks
Burgess Everett, Politico
October 18, 2017
Mitch McConnell is putting an end to the Senate’s light schedule.
The Senate majority leader is preparing to hold the chamber in session for more rigorous workweeks, including Fridays and possibly even weekends, according to two sources familiar with the matter. The Senate GOP discussed a more aggressive schedule at Tuesday’s party lunch and the majority of the conference agreed.
The Senate has come under criticisms from conservatives for its light workweeks, typically spanning from Monday evening to early Thursday afternoon. But without buy-in from his members, it’s been difficult to hold the chamber in open longer without facing the possibility of attendance problems and failed votes.
A group of younger members has been pushing for the Senate to scrap its often-mocked short weeks. It already succeeded shortening the chamber’s summer recess this past August. And GOP Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst of Iowa asked McConnell to scrap last week’s Columbus Day recess, but he did not go along.
Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) has also been working with a group of Republicans to encourage GOP leaders to work nights and weekends to overcome Democratic delays. They want to confirm more judges and legislation, as well as President Donald Trump’s executive branch nominees and legislation.
“With 36 legislative days left in the year, we have been raising these concerns again and urging Leader McConnell to turn the Senate on full-time so we can get all of our priorities done from the budget, funding the government, and tax [reform] this year,” Perdue said in a statement Wednesday.
Standing beside Trump on Monday, McConnell signaled that the Senate would be cranking up its schedule given the large number of nominees that still need to be confirmed and Congress’ goal of passing tax reform by the end of the year.
“It seems to be a lot of people forget — we’re in the personnel business. There are 1,200 of the president’s nominations subject to confirmation in the Senate,” McConnell said.
This week’s schedule is likely to be the first test of the new effort to work more. The Senate’s session is likely to bleed into Friday to complete the budget, and Republicans expect the trend to continue deep into the fall.
Read more at Politico.