House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and her Democratic Caucus voted today to block a motion to adjourn, taking the opportunity to blast GOP leaders for abdicating their responsibilities.
There’s not much the most conservative Republicans and the most liberal Democrats can agree on these days, but this afternoon they banded together to send a message to GOP leaders: It’s not time to go home yet.
All 187 Democrats who were present voted along with conservatives such as Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (Ohio), Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.) and Rep. Mick Mulvaney (S.C.) to block a motion to adjourn.
But the reasons for sticking around were different for each group. Democrats wanted to blast GOP leaders for adjourning while there is much work left to do. Republicans lacked trust that President Barack Obama would honor his agreement with the Senate not to do recess appointments.
“It was a fundamental lack of trust in President Obama to adhere to his gentlemen’s agreement with Senate Republicans,” one GOP aide said.
Democrats came prepared, rattling off a selection of floor speeches accusing the GOP of abdicating its responsibilities.
“They want to head out of town to campaign when Congress should stay in session to address the most pressing challenges facing our nation,” Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a floor speech. “Let’s get to work. Let’s do the job our constituents elected us to do.”
“This week, in the most brazen abandonment of responsibilities we’ve seen yet, Republicans chose to adjourn for the summer — which we prevented — without a middle-class tax cut extension signed into law,” Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said. “We ought not to adjourn, ladies and gentlemen of this House, until we pass a middle-class tax cut.”
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.