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Cornyn: Senate could work Thanksgiving to pass tax plan

Cornyn: Senate could work Thanksgiving to pass tax plan
© Greg Nash

Sen. John CornynJohn CornynCornyn says election outcome 'becoming increasingly clear': report Top GOP senator: Biden should be getting intel briefings GOP senator congratulates Biden, says Trump should accept results MORE (R-Texas) indicated Thursday that the Senate could work through its weeklong Thanksgiving recess to pass the GOP tax plan.

Asked if Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellFeinstein to step down as top Democrat on Judiciary Committee Voters want a strong economy and leadership, Democrats should listen On The Money: Biden to nominate Yellen for Treasury secretary | 'COVID cliff' looms | Democrats face pressure to back smaller stimulus MORE (R-Ky.) is pushing for lawmakers to stay in town to pass their bill, Cornyn, the No. 2 Senate Republican, said, "Yes, and he's serious."

"Yes, we need to get the tax bill out of the Senate before Thanksgiving," Cornyn added when asked if he thought lawmakers would work during the weeklong break.

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Republicans are trying to stay on track with their ambitious plan to get a bill to President Trump's desk by the end of the year.

If the House and Senate are both able to pass legislation by the end of November, that would allow negotiators to use the end of the year to work out a compromise on the plan instead of kicking a final vote into 2018.

Republicans have struggled to score major legislative or political victories this year, despite having the first unified GOP government in roughly a decade.

They failed to make good on their years-long campaign pledge to repeal ObamaCare and are under pressure to get a deal on a tax plan.

McConnell hasn't weighed in publicly about potentially working through some or all of the Thanksgiving recess.

The Senate is scheduled to be out of town starting on Nov. 20 and return Nov. 27.

Leadership, in both parties, have previously threatened to keep lawmakers in town through a weekend or into a holiday break to try to force a negotiation.

But GOP leadership is also under pressure from conservatives and some of its members to stay in town for longer periods of time. 

Nearly a dozen GOP senators sent a letter to McConnell earlier this month saying they support turning the Senate "on full time, 24/7, to advance the president’s agenda, including a meaningful health care solution, bold changes to our tax code, and funding the government by year’s end."