Republican senators including David Perdue (R-GA), Steve Daines (R-MT), Mike Lee (R-UT), Joni Ernst (R-IA), and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) held a press conference Tuesday at the U.S. Capitol to continue their effort to promote the #MakeCongressWorkAgain campaign.
Launched last week and spearheaded by Senator Perdue, who led a similar effort last year, the campaign calls for lawmakers to expedite floor proceedings ahead of Congress’s traditional August recess, including a spending bill and President Donald Trump’s 271 outstanding nominees.
The group has even asked Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to cancel August recess altogether.
“President Trump talked about making America great again. He’s doing that,” said Daines. “He also talked about draining the swamp,” Daines said. “It is time to drain the swamp, and we help do that by keeping the pumps running in August.”
“We need to take action now so President Trump is not jammed with another bad funding deal,” Perdue said during last week’s press conference. “We ought to work as long as it takes – including nights, weekends, and through the August recess if necessary – to get funding done and make progress on the backlog of nominees.”
On Tuesday, Senator Lee added: “At the rate we’re going right now, someone said it would take a decade for this administration to be fully staffed.”
Senator Ernst meanwhile expressed the concern that taking off in August ahead of a September 30 funding deadline could lead to severe consequences for our country’s national security.
“If we take another August off we will likely find ourselves, once again, relying on these horrible continuing resolutions, which have a devastating effect on our military and create billions in waste across our federal government,” Ernst said.
The #MakeCongressWorkAgain coalition sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) that spelled out the need for lawmakers to work more than its average 2 1/2-day work week and the Democrats “historic obstruction” on the budget and Trump’s nominees:
“We continue to witness historic obstruction by the minority party when it comes to funding the federal government and confirming the president’s nominees,” the letter said. “If we are complicit we are on track for another last-minute spending battle come September.”
“However, if we take action now, we can break the cycle of continuing resolutions and omnibus spending deals,” the letter said. “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.”
Asked by a reporter Tuesday about McConnell’s reaction to it, Perdue said last year it resulted in the confirmation of 77 of Trump’s nominees ahead of the August recess and that McConnell is “very supportive” of the campaign.
“This letter is not an affront to our leadership,” Perdue said. “Basically, it’s supportive of our leadership just like it was last year.”
“The leadership used it last year, and we got great results, and I’m hopeful we’ll do the same this year.”
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