Mitch McConnell Folds Under Populist Pressure, Extends Senate Workweek

In this May 23, 2017, file photo, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., right, accompanied by Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. The Republican effort to secretly craft a health care bill and whisk it through the Senate is striking, and it’s drawing fire from …
AP/Jacquelyn Martin

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) finally cracked under pressure from conservatives and populists alike and decided to extend the Senate’s workweek into Fridays and even the possibly the weekend.

Conservatives and populists urged McConnell to extend the Senate’s work hours to carry out President Donald Trump’s agenda, which includes confirming judicial nominees and passing vital legislation such as a budget resolution and tax reform.

Conservatives chastised the Senate’s light work week, which typically spans from Monday evening to early Thursday afternoon. GOP sources say that the Senate’s work schedule will start to mirror the average Americans’; the Senate will now work on Fridays and possibly the weekend to complete their legislative priorities.

Breitbart News reported that under Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the Senate remains in session roughly 2.5 days per week.

The Senate will soon move into its 11th month into its congressional term and has yet to pass an Obamacare repeal and replace package, pass tax reform, confirm judicial nominees, and fund a southern border wall.

Last week, more than 100 national leaders urged Senate Republican leaders to use every means at their disposal to confirm more than 200 presidential nominations currently pending in the U.S. Senate, both for the executive branch and for the federal courts.

At the moment, roughly 149 judicial vacancies exist, and yet the Senate has only confirmed seven of President Donald Trump’s 56 judicial nominees- nominees that experts have praised across the board.

Mitch McConnell faces increasing pressure to carry out the president’s agenda from conservative and nationalist-populists alike to carry out the president’s legislative agenda; McConnell’s extension of the Senate workweek serves as a recognition that he needs to perform or else McConnell may lose his job. Many conservatives and populists argue that McConnell has failed to carry out the president’s agenda and subsequently called on him to resign.

Former Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) told Fox News on Monday that he does not “know what the case is to keep” Mitch McConnell as Senate majority leader.

Establishment Republicans, including McConnell, continue to fret over Breitbart News Executive Chairman and former White House Chief Strategist Steve — who is lining up a series of primary challenges in 2018 to lawmakers he sees as hurting President Trump’s agenda. According to Axios, Bannon is planning to back primary challengers against every incumbent Republican senator running for re-election in 2018, except Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). Bannon recently told Fox News’ Sean Hannity, “Nobody’s safe, we’re coming after all of them.”

Conservative leaders included the Tea Party Patriots, FreedomWorks, and the Senate Conservative Fund called on McConnell to resign, citing McConnell’s failure to repeal and replace Obamacare, confirm federal judges, and fund a southern border wall. The conservatives wrote in a letter to the Senate Republican leadership, “It is time for you and your leadership team to step aside for new leadership that is committed to the promises made to the American people. America is too good for you to lead it.”


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