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 McConnellLawmakers skeptical of progress on spending deal as wall battle looms Impeachment battle looms over must-pass defense bill 'Saturday Night Live' presents Trump impeachment hearings with 'pizzazz' of soap opera 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 PelosiSchumer calls on Trump to testify as part of impeachment inquiry Sunday shows — Spotlight shifts to Sondland ahead of impeachment inquiry testimony Perception won't be reality, once AI can manipulate what we see 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. 
“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 ErnstOvernight Defense: Erdoğan gets earful from GOP senators | Amazon to challenge Pentagon cloud contract decision in court | Lawmakers under pressure to pass benefits fix for military families Turkish media paints White House visit as Erdoğan triumph over Trump Erdoğan gets earful from GOP senators at White House MORE (R-Iowa), a member of GOP leadership, said in a tweet.