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Bad News for Democrats Seeking Reelection? McConnell Cancels Most of August Recess

Mitch McConnell

WASHINGTON – In a surprise move Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced he's putting the kibosh on most of the Senate's traditional August recess.

Speaking at a closed-door lunch with Republican senators, McConnell explained he's canceling three weeks of the summer break due to what he calls "the historic obstruction by Senate Democrats of the president's nominees."

"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 in a statement.

The decision comes as welcome news to GOP lawmakers concerned about the upcoming midterm elections, which will determine control of the Senate.

And Democrats say it's a political move since the new schedule paves the way for GOP candidates to have the states to themselves during the break.

"The fact that the Republicans have resorted to keeping Democrats off the campaign trail in August shows you just how nervous they are about November," The Hill quoted a senior Democratic aide.

The Washington Post claims McConnell's move puts vulnerable Democratic senators in somewhat of a bind.

They face the dilemma of either remaining in Washington and forfeiting time they would otherwise use to campaign in their home districts, or remaining in their home states and risking criticism that they're shunning their current duties, the paper reports.

Nevertheless, for senators hoping to take a break, there's still hope.

McConnell's office says it's expected that during the first full week of August, senators will be away from Washington before returning for the remainder of the month.

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