GOP House leaders prepare to work through July recess

GOP House leaders told their rank-and-file that the House is likely to be in session through the scheduled district work week in July.

“We’re probably going to be here that week that we are scheduled to be off — they may move up the constitutional amendment vote,” a lawmaker who attended the closed-door briefing told The Hill.

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Though the majority of Washington buzz centered on reports of a would-be deal on the debt limit, House Republicans discussed the impending vote on a constitutional amendment requiring the federal government to balance its annual budget.

In recent weeks, a growing number of conservative lawmakers, interest group activists and Tea Party supporters have rallied behind the "Cut, Cap and Balance" movement that would require inclusion of a constitutional balanced-budget amendment in any deal struck between the White House and congressional leaders on increasing the debt ceiling.

The House was scheduled to vote on the balanced-budget portion of that trio during the week of July 25 but, according to lawmakers, that vote could happen earlier than planned if the House is, in fact, in session.

Rep. Patrick Tiberi (R-Ohio) said that leaders highlighted the upcoming vote on a balanced-budget amendment during the GOP conference meeting.

An identical constitutional amendment offered by Republicans in the Democratic-controlled Senate is unlikely to garner the needed 67 votes for passage, but Tiberi said “it’s about building momentum."