Senate

Dems to GOP: Cancel Memorial Day break

Greg Nash

Congressional Democrats are demanding Republicans cancel their weeklong Memorial Day recess and stay in Washington to tackle a myriad of issues.

“The Republican Congress is about to leave for an almost two-week recess. Republicans are leaving Washington without having completed any of the urgent business before Congress,” House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) said Thursday on steps outside the Capitol. 

{mosads}She added that Americans are “fed up with the Republican relentless and reckless obstruction.”

Democrats knocked their GOP counterparts Thursday for refusing to consider Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, not yet agreeing on funding to fight the Zika virus or the opioid epidemic, and not yet passing aid for the Flint, Mich., drinking water crisis.

They held the press conference, where Democrats frequently chanted “do your job,” just hours before lawmakers are expected to leave Washington.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), referring to Congress’s impending exit, said, “Man, it’s approaching noon now, and we’re damn near out of here.”

“Really, the schedule has turned into a two-and-a-half-day schedule,” he added. “It’s time they start doing their work and work a few extra hours each week.”

The Senate Democratic leader has repeatedly knocked Republicans this week, saying the Senate is scheduled to work the fewest number of days in decades, including starting the usual August recess in mid-July. Both parties will hold their presidential nominating contests during the last two weeks of July.

During a floor speech earlier Thursday, he said the “Republican Senate is a do-nothing Senate.”

“I don’t know if he’s taking the pages from Donald Trump. You say enough stuff that’s wrong, people say well, maybe it’s not so bad,” Reid added, referring to the presumptive GOP presidential nominee.

While Democrats rallied to voice their frustration with Republicans Thursday, GOP lawmakers have also lashed out at Reid and Democrats this week.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) took an opening hit at the Democratic press conference, saying they “want to run TV ads claiming the Senate can’t get anything done.”

“They know that’s a really tough sell. They know the only chance to make it work is by slow-walking even bills they actually support,” he added.

Referring to a current battle over an annual defense policy bill, Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.) said Thursday that “the minority leader who was just here talking about not getting anything done is the reason why we’re not getting it done.”

Their comments come after Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) lashed out at Reid, saying he’s “forced to listen to the bitter, vulgar, incoherent ramblings of the minority leader.”

“He now complains in the mornings that the Senate is not in session enough, that our calendar is too short. Well, whatever you think about that, the happy by-product of fewer days in session in the Senate is that this institution will be cursed less with his cancerous leadership,” Cotton said.

Tags Dan Coats Donald Trump Harry Reid Mitch McConnell Tom Cotton
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