House leaves for six-week August recess

House leaves for six-week August recess
© Greg Nash

House members left Washington on Thursday evening for their six-week summer recess, a day earlier than originally scheduled, after capping off an intense work period.

Before leaving, lawmakers voted to pass a budget deal — which includes a two-year extension of the debt limit — and to grant temporary protected status for Venezuelan migrants, making them the last votes for the summer.

The House isn't scheduled to be back in session until Sept. 9.

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Thursday marked the last day of a July work period filled with divided Democrats attempting to bridge their internal differences, emotional floor debate over condemning President TrumpDonald John TrumpDems want tougher language on election security in defense bill Five aides to Van Drew resign ahead of his formal switch to GOP The myth of the conservative bestseller MORE's tweets targeting four progressive freshman congresswomen and one lawmaker forcing a vote on impeachment.

House members also started their recess a day after former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSchiff: Trump acquittal in Senate trial would not signal a 'failure' Jeffries blasts Trump for attack on Thunberg at impeachment hearing Live coverage: House Judiciary to vote on impeachment after surprise delay MORE testified before the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees about his investigation into Russian election interference and whether the Trump administration had obstructed justice.

So far, just a handful of Democrats have announced support for an impeachment inquiry following Mueller's testimony, including Reps. Lori TrahanLori A. Trahan'Minor league cities' need new federal partnership Ethics panel reviewing freshman Democrat over campaign finance complaint House Democrats inch toward majority support for impeachment MORE (Mass.), Peter DeFazioPeter Anthony DeFazioLawmakers to question FAA chief on 737 Max review The Hill's 12:30 Report: Pelosi accuses Trump of 'bribery' in Ukraine dealings Democratic chairman presses Transportation secretary over transparency in Boeing 737 Max probe MORE (Ore.), Lisa Blunt Rochester (Del.) and Katherine ClarkKatherine Marlea ClarkThe Hill's Morning Report - Fallout from day one of Trump impeachment hearing 'Squad' members recruit Raskin to run for Oversight gavel House passes third bill aimed at preventing foreign election interference MORE (Mass.).

Democrats who've long pushed for impeachment are hoping that they can keep up their push to draw the public's attention to what's in the Mueller report while they're back in their districts.

"Our constituents are all going to ask about this. And it will be a wonderful opportunity to continue to educate people about what's in the Mueller report," said Rep. Pramila JayapalPramila JayapalImpeachment obliterates tinges of comity in House House passes sweeping Pelosi bill to lower drug prices Live coverage: House Judiciary to vote on impeachment after surprise delay MORE (D-Wash.), a Judiciary Committee member and co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

House Democratic leaders left some legislative items unfinished before leaving for the break.

Last week, the House Foreign Affairs Committee approved a resolution from Rep. Alan LowenthalAlan Stuart LowenthalHouse moves ahead on long-stalled resolution supporting two states for Israelis and Palestinians This week: Impeachment inquiry moves to Judiciary Committee Pelosi calls for Congress to pass resolution supporting two-state solution to Israeli-Palestinian conflict MORE (D-Calif.) to affirm support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

There had been discussions among Democrats about considering it on the floor this week along with another resolution expressing opposition to the global boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.

The House easily passed the resolution opposing BDS on Tuesday by a vote of 398-17. But 16 mostly progressive Democrats voted against it, arguing it went against free speech, while another four voted "present."

But Democratic leaders ultimately opted against bringing up Lowenthal's resolution because it says that "only" a two-state solution can resolve the conflict between Israel and Palestine.

"I'm trying to get language that I think will be acceptable to the broadest number of people and Republicans as well," House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerDemocrats get the health care fight they want with prescription drug bill Media organization fights Trump administration over Ukraine documents FOIA On The Money: Trump, China announce 'Phase One' trade deal | Supreme Court takes up fight over Trump financial records | House panel schedules hearing, vote on new NAFTA deal MORE (D-Md.) told reporters on Wednesday.

Lowenthal called the decision not to vote on his resolution this week "really disappointing." He said he suspected the upcoming Israeli elections in September played a role in delaying consideration of his resolution.

"Everybody's into a two-state solution. That's not the issue. I think the issue is the United States playing a leadership role and trying to bring people together by being fair to both sides," Lowenthal said.

"I thought that this was something that would bring us together. We had people who had signed from all parts of the caucus. All parts," Lowenthal said.

Members of the Blue Dog Coalition, meanwhile, had threatened to sign on to a GOP discharge petition to force a vote on Senate legislation to allow state and local governments to refuse to do business with companies that boycott Israel if the BDS resolution wasn't considered before the August recess.

The House also adjourned without taking action on legislation from Rep. Veronica EscobarVeronica EscobarMedia organization fights Trump administration over Ukraine documents FOIA The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by UANI — Sparks fly as House Judiciary debates impeachment articles Live coverage: House Judiciary to vote on impeachment after surprise delay MORE (D-Texas) to overhaul migrant detention policies, which still needed buy-in from the whole caucus.

But the House did pass legislation on Wednesday from Rep. Raul RuizRaul RuizHispanic Democrats demand flu vaccines for detained migrants Private equity-funded doctors coalition spends million lobbying on 'surprise' medical billing CBO: Fix backed by doctors for surprise medical bills would cost billions MORE (D-Calif.) to establish standards of care for migrants under Customs and Border Protection custody.

House passage of the budget deal brokered primarily by Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTrump-Pelosi trade deal creates strife among progressives Trump: Pelosi's teeth were 'falling out of her mouth' during press conference Schiff: I 'hope to hell' I would have voted to impeach Obama if he had committed same actions as Trump MORE (D-Calif.) and Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinMnuchin, Lighthizer deny WSJ reporting on tariff negotiations with China: 'It did not happen' The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by AdvaMed — House panel delays impeachment vote until Friday US, China reach limited trade deal ahead of tariff deadline MORE now sends the legislation to the Senate, which is expected to consider it next week.

When lawmakers return in September, they'll have only a few weeks to pass legislation to avoid a government shutdown on Oct. 1.

While the budget deal establishes top-line spending numbers, lawmakers still need to pass appropriations bills to actually fund government agencies.