WATCH: Grassley says Dems will decide whether Senate works in August
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said Tuesday that Democrats will determine whether the upper chamber will have to work during the August recess.
Grassley, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, praised Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) decision earlier in the day to cut short the recess so that the Senate can approve a backlog of judicial nominees.
"I applaud [McConnell] for every effort he can to keep us in on Friday and even Saturday if necessary, and particularly cut short the August recess," Grassley said in an interview with The Hill.
"So I see the Democratic minority having this choice: stop the filibustering, let us get these noncontroversial judges through the Senate or, if you don't want to do that, work August. That's the choice," he added.
McConnell announced Tuesday that he would cancel the August recess, citing "historic obstruction" by Democrats on President Trump's nominees as well as "the goal of passing appropriations bills prior to the end of the fiscal year" in late September.
Senators had been expected to leave Washington on Aug. 3 for the monthlong break and not return until after Labor Day in early September. But under McConnell's plan, senators are expected to be out of town for the week of Aug. 6 and then return for the rest of the month.
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) responded to McConnell's announcement Tuesday by mentioning efforts to rein in rising health-care premiums, tweeting, "More time to work in August? We welcome it so we can work on an issue weighing on the pockets of American families: health care."
Click on the video above to hear Grassley in his own words.