McConnell: Senate will not recess if government still shutdown

McConnell: Senate will not recess if government still shutdown
© Greg Nash

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBiden signs bill to raise debt ceiling On The Money — Progressives play hard ball on Biden budget plan Schumer, McConnell headed for another collision over voting rights MORE (R-Ky.) on Tuesday said the chamber will not leave for next week’s recess unless the government is reopened.

“We certainly will not be in recess next week if the government is still shutdown,” McConnell told reporters.

The Senate is currently scheduled to leave town at the end of the week until Jan. 28, meaning they would be out of Washington when the partial shutdown passes the 30-day mark.


House Democrats announced earlier Tuesday that they also would not leave town next week if roughly a quarter of the government remains closed.

Plans to cancel the recess come as there are no signs of a quick end to the shutdown, which is currently in its 25th day, the longest shutdown in modern history. 
Talks between Trump and congressional leadership derailed last week after the president stormed out of a meeting when House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiSanders, Manchin escalate fight over .5T spending bill Sanders blames media for Americans not knowing details of Biden spending plan Photos of the Week: Climate protests, Blue Origin and a koala MORE (D-Calif.) told him she wouldn't consider border wall funding even if he fully reopened the government. 
Talks between a moderate, bipartisan group of senators are also running into early hurdles with their colleagues doubtful they could reach an agreement that would break the stalemate and win Trump's backing.
McConnell's announcement that he would cancel the Senate recess, absent a government funding deal, comes as he was already facing public calls to not let the chamber leave town next week. 
Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineFill the Eastern District of Virginia  Defense & National Security — Military starts giving guidance on COVID-19 vaccine refusals Blinken pressed to fill empty post overseeing 'Havana syndrome' MORE (D-Va.), whose state has a large population of federal workers, said that he would object to the Senate adjourning at the end of the week if they did not have a deal. 
“It would be outrageous for Senators to leave town this Wednesday without fixing this mess, and I object to the Senate going into recess unless Senator McConnell holds a vote on the bipartisan bills the House passed to reopen,” Kaine said in a statement.
Several Senate Republicans have signaled they believe they should remain in town even if negotiations are still at a standstill.
“I have encouraged Leader McConnell to cancel next week's recess, so we can continue to work. We need to address this partial shutdown and keep working on the policies and programs important to the American people,” Sen. Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstDemocrat Mike Franken launches challenge to Grassley in Iowa Trump heads to Iowa as 2024 chatter grows Photos of the Week: Manchin, California oil spill and a podium dog MORE (R-Iowa), a member of GOP leadership, said in a tweet.
“I have no idea whether we’re going to have recess or not. My sense is if we’re still in a shutdown we ought not to be going off on recess,” Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiAnti-Trump Republicans endorsing vulnerable Democrats to prevent GOP takeover GOP rallies around Manchin, Sinema McConnell gets GOP wake-up call MORE (R-Alaska) told reporters on Monday night.