Conservative Lawmakers Ask Congressional Leadership to Cancel August Recess

The Daily Signal by Rachel del Guidice

One conservative lawmaker is leading the charge in the House of Representatives to ask congressional leadership to cancel lawmakers’ August recess in order to give members more time to work on legislative priorities like Obamacare repeal and tax reform.

“We request that you cancel Congress’s current plans to recess for the month of August to ensure there is enough time to address the long list of pressing issues on our docket,” reads a letter led by Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., a member of the House Freedom Caucus.

The letter is directed to House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and signed by Republican Reps. Biggs, Ron DeSantis of Florida, Ken Buck of Colorado, Ted Yoho of Florida, Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, Paul Gosar of Arizona, Dave Brat of Virginia, Jody Hice of Georgia, Jeff Duncan of South Carolina, Raúl  Labrador of Idaho, H. Morgan Griffith of Virginia, and Thomas A. Garrett of Virginia.

The lawmakers lay out multiple legislative priorities that they say must be addressed in the coming weeks:

During the 2016 elections, President [Donald] Trump and Republican candidates running for the House and Senate promised the American people that with unified Republican government we could achieve many of the policy priorities that have been mere wishes for the last several years. We vowed to repeal Obamacare, pass pro-growth tax reform, reign in federal spending, and work towards balancing the budget. The American people put their faith in us and are counting on us to carry out these goals.

The conservative lawmakers also note that lawmakers have limited time to pass a budget and handle foreign and domestic matters.

Prior to Sept. 30, we must also find a path forward on passing a federal budget and appropriating funding for fiscal year 2018, reviewing the federal debt limit, and consider reauthorizing the Federal Aviation Administration, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, the National Flood Insurance Program, Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, and more.

The 2017 fiscal year ends Sept. 30. Lawmakers in the House will have just 12 working days once they return from their August recess before the start of the new fiscal year.

The lawmakers write that they are aware canceling the recess will not “be easy to accomplish,” but they see it as an aid to fulfilling promises made to the American people:

We are not under the illusion that any of these things will be easy to accomplish, but we fully intend to work in good faith to remain true to our constituents in our respective districts.  We cannot afford to lose any of the momentum we have and therefore request that you cancel August recess. In early June, the House Freedom Caucus called for the cancellation of the August recess. 

“We need to work through August recess to get everything done,” said House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, R-N.C., according to Politico. “We believe that we need to stay through August to get through tax reform … and get our appropriations done.”