U.S Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Tuesday he was cancelling most of the Senate's August recess to give lawmakers time to pass spending bills before a September 30 deadline and to confirm more of President Donald Trump's appointees.
Republicans said Senate Democrats have forced 100 procedural votes to free up Trump's executive and judicial nominees, which they said was far more than the six previous presidents combined had experienced during their first two years in office.
McConnell also said Tuesday that he wants to pass as many annual spending bills as possible before the September 30 end of the federal fiscal year. "The Senate did not want to pass any particular version of it".
But the Tennessee Republican told Trump that he planned to press ahead, even as the Senate Foreign Relations chairman acknowledged that some of his colleagues were "fearful" of crossing the President despite their objections to his tariff policy.
Democrats need only one senator to be present while the Senate is in session to object to Republican plans and make them go through procedural hurdles.
Senate Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Westchester) said, "What we witnessed is really unfortunate". David Perdue, a Georgia Republican and a leader of the effort to persuade McConnell to stay into August.
His decision will cut into the campaigning for the November elections, which have 26 Democrats facing re-election bids around the country.
A senior Senate Democratic aide said Democratic lawmakers were skeptical that McConnell really wanted more time to deal with nominations and appropriations, suspecting that the move had more to do with keeping them off the campaign trail.
But the second-ranking Republican, Sen.
Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., said it's too early to say whether the House would take up Corker's proposal. Jim Risch, an Idaho Republican.
"History shows this is going to lead to retaliation, and we're already seeing it".
Low-key and soft-spoken, McConnell is nevertheless determined and willing to take tough steps to achieve his political and legislative goals. Democrats are also still upset over McConnell's refusal to hold hearings or votes on Obama's Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland.
After a roller-coaster 2017 for the Republican-controlled Senate, which failed to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act but later passed a sweeping tax bill that became law, GOP leaders have set a more modest agenda for the months leading up to the midterm elections. He's hoping to offer it as an amendment to a must-pass defense authorization bill that is expected to come to the Senate floor this week. "It isn't as if the dog has not barked", said Sen. Johnny Isakson, a Georgia Republican, about McConnell's decision to stay in August.
"They're taking a lot of time, so I'm gonna give them plenty of time", McConnell said.
"He's a terrific leader", said Utah Republican Sen.
McConnell certainly has his critics. She said that she and other female legislators felt that Republicans were trying to intimidate Ms. Hochul.
"I've primarily been a critic of this place", Johnson told CNN.
"May I speak on the amendment?"