Arizona congressman calls for House to match Senate’s recess cancellation
PHOENIX — Some congressmen may have already been preparing for the annual August recess, but if one lawmaker from Arizona gets his way, everyone’s plans will change.
U.S. Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) said Tuesday he has called on House leadership to match the actions of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who canceled the first two weeks of the usually sacrosanct August recess.
“I’m renewing my call on the leadership to do the same in the House,” Biggs said in a video posted to Twitter. “We should match the Senate in rescinding our August recess.”
— Rep Andy Biggs (@RepAndyBiggsAZ) July 11, 2017
Like McConnell, Biggs said he wants everyone to stick around for a couple of weeks to hammer out a backlog of both legislation and confirmations.
“There’s no point for us to take four or five weeks off in August when we still have to deal with the health care, the budget, debt ceiling limitations, tax reforms, regulation reform and a whole host of other issues that we promised the American people we would work on,” he said in the video.
Biggs said he would be willing to cancel the entire recess if necessary.
“The American people will not tolerate any more excuses for work left undone or half-done, and I am committed to staying in session as long as it takes to accomplish our goals,” he said in a release on his website.
McConnell made his decision after a growing group of fellow Republicans repeatedly urged him to keep the Senate in session to catch up on the raft of unfinished work, which includes well more than 100 nominees.
The Senate had been drifting toward only having a single week at month’s end to execute the rest of the July workload. Typically there’s a burst of activity just before the August break as the decks are cleared. In the first year of a new administration the August recess is also a time to take stock of the accomplishments of the new president.
For some in the Capitol, McConnell’s decision had more personal or parochial impacts, forcing lawmakers and staffers alike to rethink summer plans or grouse about non-refundable plane tickets.
For some, these trips were work related as many lawmakers and staffers head abroad over the summer on official delegation travels known as codels.
“Yeah, I was going to Israel with a bunch of new members but I guess I’m not now,” remarked Sen. Lindsey Graham, (R-S.C.).
The Associated Press contributed to this report.