Dems ask to extend House session

House Democratic leaders are calling on Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to keep the chamber in session to tie up lose ends ahead of November’s elections.

House GOP leaders have planned to recess Friday for a seven-week break that extends for a week beyond the Nov. 6 elections. That follows a five-week August break from which Congress returned just 10 days ago.

{mosads}The Democratically controlled Senate has a nearly identical schedule.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and other top Democrats said leaving town without addressing a long list of unfinished business would create an “economic uncertainty” the country can “ill-afford.”

“Democrats do not believe the House should recess this week, or at all, until we have met our responsibilities to the American people,” the Democrats wrote in a Thursday letter to Boehner. “Our nation can ill-afford economic uncertainty that will result from Congress remaining idle for another [seven] weeks.”

The Democrats are calling on Boehner to scrap the recess plans until the House passes legislation preventing the looming sequester cuts, addressing the expiring Bush tax cuts and reauthorizing the farm bill.

Leaving Washington without tackling those issues, the Democrats wrote, would represent “a dereliction” of Congress’s “duty to lead.”

The letter is signed by Pelosi, Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (Md.), Assistant Democratic Leader James Clyburn (S.C.), Rep. John Larson (Conn.), chairman of the Democratic Caucus, Rep. Xavier Becerra (Calif.),  vice chairman of the Democratic Caucus and Rep. Chris Van Hollen, senior Democrat on the Budget Committee.

Boehner spokesman Kevin Smith returned fire Thursday, arguing that House Republicans have passed bills addressing almost all of those issues, only to see them blocked by Senate inaction or veto threats from President Obama.

“Republicans have acted to stop all the looming tax hikes that will cost 700,000 jobs, and we’ve passed legislation to replace the president’s sequester that threatens our troops,” Smith said in an email.

“The inaction from our president and Senate Democrats is a failure of leadership,” he added, “and the American people will hold them accountable.”

House Democratic leaders have scheduled a press conference Friday morning to amplify their calls for Republicans to extend the session.

Tags Boehner John Boehner Xavier Becerra

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