Senate adjourns for five-week break
© Hill file photo

Senators are heading out of Washington for a five-week recess, punting a handful of issues until they return in September. 

The Senate is effectively closed for business until Sept. 8, after paving the way to start work on a resolution of disapproval on the Iran nuclear deal as soon as they come back into session. 

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Senators are heading out of town after an unusually productive first half of the year, during which they passed a budget, an overhaul of the Bush-era No Child Left Behind law, an annual defense policy bill, a bill aimed at curbing human trafficking and a fast-track bill considered key to President Obama's trade agenda. 

Sen. John CornynJohn CornynO'Rourke's rise raises hopes for Texas Dems down ballot Five takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke debate showdown Live coverage: Cruz faces O'Rourke in Texas debate showdown MORE (R-Texas) on Wednesday praised his party's work since taking over the majority, saying they've gotten "pretty good" results. 

"The voters in November decided to try something different. They've given us a chance to see what we can do when we're in the majority, and I think the results are pretty good," he added.

But Democrats have criticized Republicans for eating up floor time on legislation that was unlikely to pass, including a short-term extension of the Patriot Act and a vote to defund Planned Parenthood, despite a packed schedule.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDemocrats slide in battle for Senate McConnell and wife confronted by customers at restaurant Pelosi, Schumer: Trump 'desperate' to put focus on immigration, not health care MORE (R-Ky.) also punted on a long-stalled cyber bill Wednesday, which drew quick fire from Democrats.

"Everything we did this week — including the Planned Parenthood vote and the consent agreements — could have been wrapped up last week," a senior Senate Democratic aide said. 

The move to push back the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) adds to a growing list of issues that the Senate has to tackle in the back half of the year. 

Lawmakers also face deadlines on passing a resolution on the Iran nuclear deal, getting a deal on a long-term highway bill, deciding how to fund the government and raising the debt ceiling. 

Democrats are pledging to block spending bills until Republicans sit down and negotiate a deal to raise the congressionally-mandated budget caps on defense and non-defense spending. 

The already contentious fight over government funding has gotten another hurdle, with conservative Republicans suggesting they won't sign any spending bill that doesn't defund Planned Parenthood. 

Cornyn suggested lawmakers would have to pass a short-term spending bill, though he said it was "premature" to discuss what would be included in it. 

Meanwhile, he sought to tamp down speculation that Republicans would let the government shut down, which could undercut McConnell's push to use the Senate to show that Republicans can govern heading into the 2016 election. 

"We're not going to go there," he told reporters earlier this week. "I wish there was some way to convince all of you guys that there will be no government shutdown."