August 19, 2018

U.S. Lawmakers Seek To Block Trump On Tariffs

09 June 2018, 09:46 | Darnell Patrick

McConnell Cancels Most of Senate’s August Recess 

Alaska House of Representatives

IT wasn't exactly a surprise, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's Tuesday announcement was a welcome one nonetheless.

Toomey was joined in the move by U.S. Sens.Bob Corker, R-Tenn.; Heidi Heitkamp D-N.D.; Mark Warner, D-Va.; Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.; Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii; Ron Johnson, R-Wis.; Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.; Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Jeff Flake, R-Ariz.

That means senators are now losing valuable time to campaign in their home states just before the midterm elections.

Nevertheless, some Republicans are concerned that the cancellation may become a regular occurrence, but this year is quite different than others.

Sen. Chris Van Hollen, the Democrat from Maryland who is the chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, is portraying the schedule change as an opportunity for legislating and messaging.

He told McConnell to dedicate August to "considering legislation that would lower the cost of health care and prescription drugs" in an open letter Wednesday.

Casey's Senate race opponent in November, U.S. House Rep. Lou Barletta, R-11, Hazleton, criticized the Senate for lack of action. Instead, he said the chamber needed to spend the extra time passing legislation important to Americans.

Corker said Trump called him Tuesday to discuss the proposal, adding that he made no commitment to back off.

Both types of plans do not have to comply with the 2010 law's strict coverage requirements, so healthy people might see it as a more affordable option.

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A few hours later, Corker went ahead and filed the bill, along with seven other Republican senators and four Democrats. Corker wants to make the amendment retroactive for two years so that Congress can review the controversial tariffs Trump has already announced.

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.

Durbin isn't just waiting on Republicans to let Congress discuss health care.

"We Democrats welcome this additional time", Schumer told reporters after McConnell's announcement, "because it gives us the opportunity to address an issue that's on the top of the mind of so numerous American people and one that Republicans have badly mishandled up until this point: health care".

The cancellation of most of the August recess came after Republicans and conservative organizations pressured McConnell about short work weeks and a long summer break despite undone business.

The House and Senate are working to pass as numerous annual twelve spending bills as possible ahead of the September 30 fiscal-year deadline, and McConnell said those bills will now be a priority in August.

"Honestly, Laura, I can't see us going back to immigration this year unless there was some proposal that the president actually was OK with and said he was willing to sign". "So, if you've got post-cloture time pending on a nominee, you can't get on appropriations bills, you can't get on legislation".

This year, GOP lawmakers plan to bundle the spending bills into smaller packages. "If the Senate isn't able to get that work done then they can stay in August and get it done, that's fantastic".

"I don't even think that".

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