AFL-CIO head says GOP should postpone recess

AFL-CIO head says GOP should postpone recess
© Greg Nash

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on Tuesday called on House Republican leadership to postpone the August recess until Congress passes a long-term funding bill for transportation projects. 

Trumka said that Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerLiz Cheney faces a big decision on her future NBC's Kelly O'Donnell tears up over video celebrating 25 years at network Boehner: 'I wouldn't bother' with primary challenge to Trump if I were Kasich MORE (R-Ohio) “is once again showing a complete disregard for the priorities of working people.” 

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“Every Member of Congress should remain in Washington until the job of passing a long-term highway bill is done,” he said in a statement. 

Boehner said Tuesday that the House will pass a three-month highway spending bill on Wednesday and then leave Washington until September, forcing the Senate to pass the measure or face a lapse in funding on Friday. 

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) expressed her disappointment that the House is adjourning a day early without passing a long-term highway bill. 

“I am deeply disappointed that Republicans are choosing to adjourn the House for nearly six weeks without having passed a robust, long-term highway bill,” she wrote in a ‘Dear Colleague’ letter on Tuesday. 

The lower chamber introduced a new bill late Monday extending funding through Oct. 29, providing House Republicans a way around extending the Export-Import Bank’s charter while also buying time to work with the White House on a long-term spending plan using tax reform measures. 

Meanwhile, the Senate is poised to pass a bipartisan measure as early as Wednesday, which includes a five-year renewal of the Export-Import Bank.

In a twist, Sens. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) on Tuesday made a push for the Senate to speed up votes on their six-year highway bill so it reaches the House before lawmakers can depart. 

“The only thing worse than the condition of America’s roads and transit systems, is the approval ratings of Congress,” Trumka said. 

“If House Republican leadership intends on regaining the trust of working people, they should start by passing a long-term surface transportation funding bill that creates jobs and ensures economic stability.”