GOP rep calls on House to cancel August recess

GOP rep calls on House to cancel August recess
© Greg Nash

Rep. Mike GallagherMichael (Mike) John GallagherKeep our elections free and fair Overnight Defense: House passes T spending package with defense funds | Senate set to vote on blocking Saudi arms sales | UN nominee defends climate change record 58 GOP lawmakers vote against disaster aid bill MORE (R-Wis.) is calling on the House to remain in session through August.

He's one of a group of House lawmakers expected to ramp up pressure on leadership to follow the Senate's lead in canceling the August recess. Some members are planning on sending a letter to leadership in the lower chamber Wednesday calling for the congressional calendar to be revised.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellWhat Democrats should say about guns This week: House Dems voting to hold Barr, Ross in contempt Juan Williams: GOP in a panic over Mueller MORE (R-Ky.) announced Tuesday the upper chamber would stay in Washington for the majority of August to complete its work on nominations and appropriations bills.

Gallagher, a freshman member, has long been a supporter of lawmakers remaining in session through the summer, having led the charge to cancel recess in 2017 amidst the threat of a government shutdown.

"Like I said in April of last year, in what other job would you grant yourself a month off if you failed to get your work done? I know we need to go back home to meet with our constituents. But more than anything else I believe our constituents sent us here to do our job – to work together and fix problems rather than punting them down the road to next generation," he told The Hill in a statement.

"So once again I'm urging my colleagues in the House: let's stay here, let's work with a sense of urgency and purpose to better this country because that's what we owe the American people."

The Wisconsin Republican introduced the Do Your Job Act shortly after taking office last year, which would prohibit Congress from taking a break until it passes all 12 appropriations bills.

Canceling recess has received some bipartisan support in the lower chamber, with Rep. Ro KhannaRohit (Ro) KhannaThe Young Turks' Cenk Uygur: Here's how to choose a president House and Senate head for showdown on must-pass defense bill Overnight Defense: House approves 3 billion defense bill | Liberal sweeteners draw progressive votes | Bill includes measure blocking Trump from military action on Iran MORE (D-Calif.) applauding Gallagher's efforts to reform the way Congress works. 

"When Mike is saying let's eliminate August recess it's because he gets what people think. 'I work a hard days job, and I don't get a month to get a recess, why should you,'" Khanna said during an interview alongside Gallagher with the Millenial Action Project on Tuesday. "And there is probably some adjustment that is going to have to be made in a deliberate attempt to regain the public's trust because the body has really lost that trust."

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyThis week: House Dems voting to hold Barr, Ross in contempt Social media summit highlights partisan approaches on tech House Republicans dismissive of Paul Ryan's take on Trump MORE (R-Calif.) said he doesn't see a need for the lower chamber to remain in Washington in August, arguing the 115th Congress has had "the most productive House of Representatives in modern times."

"We have 500 bills sitting in the Senate and take it up. And Democrats have had a hundred cloture votes and with the last six presidents had 24 those first two years," he told reporters Tuesday. "So I understand why the Senate needs to finish their work. We've been doing our work."