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.

ADVERTISEMENT

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 TrumpWarren unveils Native American policy plan Live-action 'Mulan' star spurs calls for boycott with support of Hong Kong police Don't let other countries unfairly tax America's most innovative companies 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 MuellerTrump calls for probe of Obama book deal Democrats express private disappointment with Mueller testimony Kellyanne Conway: 'I'd like to know' if Mueller read his own report 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. TrahanHouse Democrats inch toward majority support for impeachment Trump bashes Mueller for 'ineptitude,' slams 'sick' Democrats backing impeachment Pelosi denies she's 'trying to run out the clock' on impeachment MORE (Mass.), Peter DeFazioPeter Anthony DeFazioHouse Democrats inch toward majority support for impeachment Trump bashes Mueller for 'ineptitude,' slams 'sick' Democrats backing impeachment Pelosi denies she's 'trying to run out the clock' on impeachment MORE (Ore.), Lisa Blunt Rochester (Del.) and Katherine ClarkKatherine Marlea ClarkToni Morrison dies at 88 Former Virginia deputy AG: Trump's Twitter attacks a 'distraction' from 'substantive' critiques House Democrats inch toward majority support for impeachment 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 JayapalMedicare for all: fears and facts House Democrats urge Trump to end deportations of Iraqis after diabetic man's death 'KamalaCare' fails to address big problem: That we cannot trust insurance companies 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 leaves for six-week August recess House passes bill opposing BDS, exposing divide among Democrats Here are the 95 Democrats who voted to support impeachment 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 HoyerLiberal Democrat eyes aid cuts to Israel after Omar, Tlaib denied entry Lawmakers blast Trump as Israel bars door to Tlaib and Omar Israel denies Omar and Tlaib entry after Trump tweet 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 EscobarCongressional Hispanic Caucus calls for answers on Mississippi ICE raids Consoler in Chief like Biden is the perfect antidote to a Divider in Chief like Trump Democratic senator on possibility of Trump standing up to the NRA: 'That's just such BS' 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 RuizHouse leaves for six-week August recess House Republicans score fourth major procedural win with motion to recommit House passes bill requiring CBP to enact safety, hygiene standards 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 PelosiThe Hill's Morning Report — Trump and the new Israel-'squad' controversy Trump crosses new line with Omar, Tlaib, Israel move Pelosi: Israel's Omar-Tlaib decision 'a sign of weakness' MORE (D-Calif.) and Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinThe Hill's Morning Report — Trump and the new Israel-'squad' controversy Trump pressured Mnuchin on labeling China a currency manipulator: report Business groups to Trump: Tariff delay isn't enough 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.