Senate clears adjournment resolution for August recess

Without any fanfare, the Senate on Tuesday cleared a resolution so that both chambers could officially adjourn for the August recess.

The resolution allows the House and Senate to adjourn until Sept. 8 without any need for pro forma sessions. Under the Constitution, neither chamber can recess for more than three days without consent of the other.

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A senior Senate GOP aide said the White House and Senate Republicans had reached an agreement that no recess appointments would be made during the adjournment. In years past, the minority party has been reluctant to allow such a lengthy adjournment in case the president makes recess appointments while the Senate is not in session.

The House approved the adjournment resolution without objection on Monday in a brief session that lasted only six minutes. Rep. Tom Petri (R-Wis.) presided over the chamber, but no other members were in sight.

On Tuesday, Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), acting in place of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), quickly cleared the resolution on a voice vote. 

"I know of no further debate on this measure," Coons said.

Passage of the resolution without drama stands in contrast to previous years when some members objected to adjourning. In 2012, House Democrats demanded a roll call vote on the adjournment resolution, arguing that the House shouldn't leave without finishing work on spending bills and other issues.

The adjournment resolution then failed on a 150-265 vote. However, most members still left town for the recess. The House later cleared the resolution quietly.

The Senate will gavel into session one more time this month on Friday at 9:15 a.m. for a pro forma session during which no business will be conducted. The pro forma is being convened because all pending nominations would be sent back to the White House if the Senate is out of session for more than 30 days.

— Ramsey Cox contributed to this report.

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