Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced that he will keep the Senate in session for the first two weeks of August. The announcement comes as Senate Republicans face a long legislative to-do list, including their effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The extended session, however, gives advocates less time to meet with members of Congress in their districts during August recess.
In addition to addressing health care reform, the delayed recess gives Senators more legislative days to work on other issues, like tax reform, the debt ceiling, an FY18 budget resolution, and appropriations bills. Both the House and the Senate are significantly behind schedule in their budget and appropriations process this year, including passing appropriations bills that fund critical affordable housing and community development programs. Many lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have stated that a bipartisan budget deal is needed to lift the Budget Control Act spending caps that are setting FY18 allocation levels unworkably low for appropriations subcommittees.