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Sullivan joins senators asking McConnell to consider keeping them at work during traditional August break

  • Author: Erica Martinson
  • Updated: December 2, 2017
  • Published June 30, 2017

Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell walks to the Senate floor of the U.S. Capitol after unveiling a draft bill on health care June 22. REUTERS / Kevin Lamarque

WASHINGTON — Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan and nine Republican colleagues asked the Senate leader Friday to cancel their August recess if they haven't made real progress on key policy priorities.

Just 33 "potential working days" remain before the end of the fiscal year Sept. 30, the senators wrote in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. They suggested canceling the August "state work period" if the Senate doesn't make progress on health care, funding the government, dealing with the debt ceiling, passing a budget resolution and improving the tax code.

"Each of these issues is challenging in its own right. For example, the passage of a budget and all twelve appropriations bills before September 30th is a rarity, occurring only 4 times in the last 43 years," the senators wrote.

That's a tall order for the next few weeks. The Senate was in recess Friday and through this week for the Independence Day holiday. When Congress returns, the session runs through the end of July. Lawmakers are often headed to and from their home states on Fridays and Mondays.

Sullivan was joined by Sens. David Perdue of Georgia; Steve Daines, Montana; Joni Ernst, Iowa; John Kennedy, Louisiana; James Lankford, Oklahoma; Mike Lee, Utah; Mike Rounds, South Dakota; Luther Strange, Alabama; and Thom Tillis, North Carolina.

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