Politics

The August of Our Discontent

What if they canceled recess and no one cared?

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Recess Canceled, Redux

For the second year in a row, the Senate has curtailed its August recess

UNITED STATES - JUNE 5: Matt House, center, aide to Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., waits for his boss in the Capitol's Senate Reception Room during the Senate Policy luncheons on June 5, 2018. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Ready for more of this? Wait until August. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says this was necessary because there is a lot of work to do. And Democrats are making life difficult by requiring him to eat valuable floor time considering nominees who are not controversial. And they need to pass spending bills before the Sept. 30 end of the fiscal year. 

In the latest Political Theater podcast, we dive a little deeper into McConnell’s claims of obstruction; how this could put Democrats, and at least one Republican, running in tight races in a pinch, and the spectacle of senators who say they cannot stand Washington begging to stay here and just work themselves into exhaustion.

Everybody’s Working for the Weekend

In praising their leader’s decision to keep them in Washington longer this summer, Republicans referred to promises they made to the public. 

UNITED STATES - APRIL 24: Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., leaves the Senate Republicans' policy lunch in the Capitol on Tuesday, April 24, 2018. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., wants to work nights, weekends, holidays. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

“As much as I love being out of Washington, D.C., and back in Louisiana, it’s time to get important work done,” Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy said in a statement, adding. “Majority Leader McConnell made the right decision in canceling the August work period. We need to work nights, weekends and holidays to deliver the promises that were made to the American people.”

While one may quibble with what promises were made and to whom and when, and what entails a mandate anyway, there is the distinct possibility that voters might not care when it comes time to vote. 

Roll Call’s own David Hawkings recently wrote about midterm voting patterns and how, even in the most productive of times for Congress, a throw-the-bums-out mentality tends to carry the day and the majority tends to change hands regardless of all that hard work. 

Remembering RFK

UNITED STATES - June 6: Rep. Joseph Kennedy III, D-Mass., speaks at the Robert Francis Kennedy Memorial Service at Arlington National Cemetery held on the 50th anniversary of RFK’s assassination Wednesday June 6, 2018. (Photo By Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)
Massachusetts Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III, grandson of the late New York Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, speaks Wednesday at the Robert Francis Kennedy memorial service at Arlington National Cemetery held on the 50th anniversary of RFK’’s assassination. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

This week marked the 50th anniversary of the assassination of New York Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, gunned down after he won the California presidential primary at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. 

His grandson, Massachusetts Democratic Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III, former President Bill Clinton and Georgia Democratic Rep. John Lewis, paid tribute to Kennedy on Wednesday at Arlington National Cemetery. 

Watch our Roll Call video of the ceremony and listen to our recent Political Theater podcast on the Netflix documentary series.

The Kicker

UNITED STATES - June 6: People bow their head in prayer before the Robert Francis Kennedy Memorial Service at Arlington National Cemetery held on the 50th anniversary of his assassination Wednesday June 6, 2018. (Photo By Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)
People bow their head in prayer before the RFK memorial service at Arlington National Cemetery on Wednsesday. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

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