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Street Talk: The Dream of Recess Deferred

But he said the mismatched recess calendars between the two chambers has taken its toll.

"The schedule has made us focus more on the House," he said.

Another lobbyist, a Republican who works both chambers, added: "Philosophically, I do support the fact that they're trying to get home more, but there could have been periods of time where you had these certain traditional recesses that would have made sense to coordinate with the Senate."

For some, the upside may be that the Senate is sticking around but not doing much.

Dave Hoppe, who spent years working in the Senate, said his colleagues at Quinn Gillespie and Associates who had scheduled time off this week still planned to take it. Although the Senate is not in recess, he said, it isn't likely to work on major bills that K Street cares about such as tax reform.

But he wasn't going anywhere.

"We had a number of client things we were planning to do next week because the House was already going to be in," Hoppe explained.

"When they're juxtaposed like this, it makes everything a little more difficult," he said. "If they're all together, you can target your time, vacations, have meetings."

And of course, there is always August recess, the holiest of them all, unchangeable and just a mere five weeks away. We won't have to worry about those pesky debt ceiling talks getting in the way. Right? Nothing could interfere with August.

Except sometimes something does.

Hoppe recalled August 1994. He was an aide to then-Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) when then-Majority Leader George Mitchell (D-Maine) — gasp — cancelled the summer break to consider a major health care bill that ultimately didn't pass.

If lawmakers and the administration can't resolve their impasse over the nation's debt, Hoppe isn't ruling out the possibility of August recess getting canned.

"If we get into that situation, my guess is Congress doesn't go home," he said. "Having been there before, that's not a happy-go-lucky crowd."

Indeed not.

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