The Senate recess has been delayed until the third week of August to complete work on the health care reform. According to CNN, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the conference needed more time to complete "important legislative items and process nominees." He went on to say that these processes have been "stalled by a lack of cooperation from our friends across the aisle."
A select number of Republicans urged leadership to stay in Washington to finish the work instead of returning to their respective homes. This prompted the delay, which did not surprise senators like Mike Crapo (R, Idaho), who said this is what "the Senate needs to do its work."
"Once the Senate completes its work on health care reform, we will turn to other important issues including the National Defense Authorization Act and the backlog of critical nominations that have been mindlessly stalled by Democrats," McConnell said.
Senator Steve Daines (R, Montana) does not favor the recess option. Last Tuesday found eight senators discussing the recess while next to a large printed sign reminding them there were "31 working days until the fiscal year ends."
"If you were going to school and were getting failing grades in spring semester, you better go to summer school, not take a recess," said Daines.
Senator Mike Lee (R, Utah) agrees. He went on to say that he thinks Congress should "look beyond just the month of August" and rethink a decades-old schedule.
According to The New York Times, the recess is an admittance of failure for the Republican party. Without a "concerted effort to pass contentious health care legislation," senators said they could not face their constituents at home.
Republicans also fear the Twitter backlash if they do not complete the health care bill. President Trump made his stance quite clear in a previous tweet:
I cannot imagine that Congress would dare to leave Washington without a beautiful new HealthCare bill fully approved and ready to go!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 10, 2017
Senator John Cornyn (R, Texas) tried to blame the schedule change on members of the Democratic party, saying that members like "Senator [Chuck] Schumer has been very effective at slowing things down to a crawl and blocking the confirmation of President Trump’s cabinet and other sub-cabinet level officials and making it hard to get things done." Schumer clapped back, saying the problem was not the calendar but the health care bill itself.
“And by the way, I have sympathy for the Republicans,” Mr. Schumer said. “If I were them, I wouldn’t want to go home and face the voters either, because they’re not getting a very good reaction when it comes to this bill.”
Senator McConnell says Republicans intend to "fully utilize the first two weeks of August." This means they will discuss more than just the health care bill. They intend to discuss the debt limit increase, backlogged confirmations, and even the wall along the Mexican border promised during Trump's campaign.