Published: Thu, June 07, 2018
Worldwide | By Stella Potter

McConnell Waves Red Flag on Senate Immigration Bill

McConnell Waves Red Flag on Senate Immigration Bill

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on June 5 that he was canceling most of the Senate's August recess to give lawmakers time to pass spending bills before a September 30 deadline and to confirm more of President Donald Trump's appointees.

"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.

The Senate leader said he wants to pass as many spending bills before the end of the fiscal year on September 30.

David Perdue, a Georgia Republican and a leader of the effort to persuade McConnell to stay into August. While there's no guarantee Congress will fund the wall this time around, some GOP senators say they are ready to cancel their August plans to get a budget passed, even if Trump won't sign it.

In order to take back the Senate from the deeply unpopular Republican Party-which is headed by the "least popular first-year president on record"-Democrats must both defend all 26 of their current seats and flip two Republican seats".

The new August schedule is problematic for one vulnerable Republican: Sen. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Democrats will spend August working on health care legislation to help lower premiums that are expected to rise this fall in part due to Republicans' eliminating the individual mandate to buy health insurance in their tax cut legislation. Their absence would limit the legislative work the Senate can achieve alone.

But many Republicans senators hailed the decision, saying they were willing to give up some of their downtime to catch up on the Senate's work.

A senior Senate Democratic aide said Democratic lawmakers were skeptical that McConnell really wanted more time to deal with nominations and appropriations, suspecting that the move had more to do with keeping them off the campaign trail. "We'll see. I'm hopeful we can do this in a cooperative fashion, but we've got lots of tools available". The majority of Republican senators and representatives have confirmed Trump's nominees, agreed to blow up the USA deficit, and generally declined to comment on unsavory details about his personal life.

But the recess rollback comes with an obvious political benefit given the makeup 2018 Senate campaign map, with Democrats overwhelming playing defense in states carried by President Donald Trump in 2016.

"I don't know why they're talking about that", said Sen.

One of the Senator's not sponsoring the bill is Senator John DeFrancisco, the Deputy Republican Leader.

A group of senators are crafting a plan that would claw back some of President Donald Trump's authority to enact sweeping tariffs and other trade policies that many Republicans and other free-trade supporters believe would result in lasting damage to the U.S. economy.

Senate Republicans's priority in the midterms is trying to keep control of the chamber.

Now, McConnell says he aims to make them pay by taking away their vacation time. The House, where every seat will be on the ballot in November, is scheduled to have a five-week recess beginning in late July, and a Republican leadership aide in that chamber said no scheduling changes were now planned.

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