Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell is looking to ramp up the efforts of his chamber, immediately suggesting the confirmation vote of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to go through ahead of the November congressional elections.
McConnell recently announced that his legislative chamber would be working through most of the August recess and, should his calendar continue as intended, the Senate is on track to post their longest work schedule in 47 years.
From Washington Examiner:
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s plan to keep the chamber open for much of August and possibly push through more Trump administration nominees will give him rare bragging rights to managing the longest working schedule in nearly 50 years.
Often mocked as a part-time legislative body, the Senate is on schedule to work the most days since 1971, according to a new report.
Overall, should the trend continue, the two-year Senate session could total 385 days, 68 higher than the modern day average of 317, according to the Pew Research Center.
“With McConnell’s announcement that this year’s August recess will be shortened, senators are on track to be in session for 385 days – far more days than average and the highest total of any Senate going back to 1971,” the Pew Research Center said in their report.
And, “That current expected number counts the 195 days that the Senate was in session in 2017 and the 190 days that it has either already been in session or is scheduled to be in session this year. It also includes the additional three weeks – potentially 15 work days – that McConnell has added.”
Democrats in the chamber are not taking the increased workload lying down but are looking to continue to resist the Republican agenda. Democrat Senate Leader Chuck Schumer is even convinced he can stop Kavanaugh’s confirmation.
“Let me say this. I believe if we can prove to the American people, which I believe is truly the case, that this nominee will lead to a court that repeals women’s reproductive freedom, repeals ACA with its protections for pre-existing conditions, we will get a majority of the Senate to vote for it,” Schumer told “CBS This Morning,” as Politico reports. “Obviously, even if we had every Democrat, we need two Republicans. But if we can make that case, we will get a majority.”
With Republicans in control of a 51-49 majority in the Senate, Schumer (D-N.Y.) would indeed need at least two GOP lawmakers, plus the vote of every single Democrat, in order to successfully block Kavanaugh’s confirmation. But with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) away from Washington as he undergoes cancer treatment, the Republican majority is effectively 50-49, meaning Democrats might need only to peel away a single GOP senator.
As for McConnell’s colleagues in the House of Representatives, they are increasing their work hours too.
The Pew Research Center reports they are working more than most previous Congresses over the last few decades.
“The House, meanwhile, typically convenes for fewer total days than the Senate during the course of a Congress. The House spends, on average, 290 days in session. The calendar the House has set for the term already has legislators working relatively more days – at 317 – than all but four previous Congresses since 1971.”