WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ken., is reportedly seriously considering canceling the chamber's August recess this year in order to give lawmakers more time to pass spending bills and confirm President Donald Trump's nominees.
A report from Politico said McConnell told Republican chairmen on Wednesday that he would speak to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., about whether Democrats are willing to cooperate to avoid scrapping the four-week break.
Political observers note Democrats will likely be eager to avoid canceling the recess to allow vulnerable Senators to return home to campaign ahead of the midterm elections in November.
Ten Democratic Senators are up for re-election in states that Trump won in the 2016 presidential election compared to only one Republican Senator that is up for re-election in a state won by Hillary Clinton.
'Senators facing possible defeat can discover reservoirs of sweet reason in abundance if the alternative is being stuck in Washington - particularly if they aren't getting much visible work done - as opponents savage them back home,' wrote New York Magazine political columnist Ed Kilgore.
'McConnell knows this,' Kilgore added. 'He will probably count on its powerful effect as he mulls the August recess.'
The reports that McConnell is considering canceling the August recess come after a group of sixteen Republican Senators sent a letter to the GOP leader last week expressing a willingness to work through the break.
The Republican Senators accused Democrats of 'historic obstruction' when it comes to funding the government and confirming Trump's nominees and warned of another last-minute spending battle in September.
'However, if we take action now, we can break the cycle of continuing resolutions and omnibus spending deals,' the GOP Senators wrote.
They added, 'Therefore, we want to offer our full support to expedite floor consideration, even if we must work nights and weekends and forgo the August recess to get it done.'
McConnell threatened to cancel the first two weeks of the August recess last year, although Senators only stayed in Washington for one extra week before confirming a large number of Trump's nominees.
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