By Russell Berman - 09/21/10 03:37 PM EDT
House lawmakers will stick around at least another week before bolting Washington for the campaign trail, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Tuesday.
Hoyer dismissed a report that the House was considering adjourning at the end of this week, cutting its pre-election legislative session short by a full two weeks. “I don’t know where that report came from, and the answer is no,” the majority leader told reporters at his weekly briefing.
“There’s nobody here that doubts that members, Republicans and Democrats, would like to be in their districts talking to their constituents. After all, they have to ask them to be rehired,” Hoyer said.
House leadership aides had suggested that if the Senate could pass a continuing resolution to fund the government in the coming days, the House might be able to leave earlier than expected. But Hoyer said Tuesday he did not expect the Senate to send the House a bill this week.
While he committed that the House would stay in session next week, Hoyer would not comment on its schedule beyond that. The House is scheduled to remain in session through the first week of October, but party leaders are considering breaking a week early, at the end of next week.
Hoyer said a number of significant pieces of legislation remain under consideration for action before the election, including an extension of middle-class tax cuts, funding for 9/11 responders and a child nutrition bill being pushed by the White House.
The majority leader struck an optimistic note on the upcoming elections, saying there was a “resurgence” for Democratic candidates.
He trumpeted a recent Gallup poll that gave Democrats a 1-point edge over the GOP in a generic candidate comparison. Hoyer chided reporters for playing up an August Gallup survey that showed a 10-point GOP advantage, saying the latest poll marked a “dramatic” turnaround for his party.
“That doesn’t sound like a death knell to me. That sounds like a party that’s on the move,” Hoyer said. “I not only don’t think there’s a death knell. I think there’s a resurgence of Democrats throughout the country.”
Hoyer criticized Republicans ahead of a planned Thursday launch of their fall agenda, saying the policies they would roll out would be the same ones that contributed to what he termed “the worst economy we’ve seen in three-quarters of a century in America.”
“Yes, they want to put a new face with the same policies,” the Democrat said, “and I think the American public is going to reject it.”
This story was posted at 11:04 a.m. and updated at 11:37 a.m.