A group of Republican senators, including Georgia Senator David Perdue, have called for the cancellation of the annual August recess if "meaningful progress" has not been made on a number of legislative issues before the body.
The senators noted their request in a letter formally delivered to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Friday, ahead of the July 4 recess period.
The letter notes that as of Friday, only 33 potential working days remain before the end of the fiscal year on September 30, which, they note does not provide enough time to address five priorities they say are most important to be handled: fixing health care, funding the government, dealing with the debt ceiling, passing a budget resolution and improving the tax code.
Along with Perdue, other Republican senators signing the letter include Steve Daines of Montana, Joni Ernst of Iowa, John Kennedy of Louisiana, James Lankford of Oklahoma, Mike Lee of Utah, Mike Rounds of South Dakota, Luther Strange of Alabama, Dan Sullivan of Alaska and Thom Tillis of North Carolina.
Here is the full text of the letter:
Dear Leader McConnell:
We are united in our belief that we must work with a sense of urgency to deliver conservative solutions for pressing legislative issues on behalf of the American people. Our current Senate calendar shows only 33 potential working days remaining before the end of the fiscal year. This does not appear to give us enough time to adequately address the issues that demand immediate attention. Therefore, we respectfully request that you consider truncating, if not completely foregoing, the scheduled August state work period, allowing us more time to complete our work.
There are five imperatives which must be accomplished this year. We must complete the first phase of Obamacare repeal and replace. Next, we have to pass a budget that serves as a reconciliation vehicle for reforming our outdated tax code. Before September 30th, we must agree on an appropriation that responsibly funds the government. Also, we must deal with our debt limit before that approximate date. If we successfully navigate those priorities, we can finally get to our once in a generation opportunity on tax reform. Growing the economy, repairing our infrastructure, and rebuilding our military are all dependent on accomplishing the tasks before us.
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. However, the stakes are much higher this year. We simply cannot afford to lose any additional time in resolving these issues when tax reform is hanging in the balance. Robust change to our tax code is our single most important economic growth tool, and there is already growing anticipation for us to act. Failure to deliver could have devastating economic consequences.
We appreciate your leadership, both in advancing our agenda and by moving a package of bills this year to roll back regulations. This effort has already helped deliver much-needed relief and advance economic growth. Further, we have been encouraged by your work to date to help us stay on track. However, there is much to be done.
Please be assured that our request is fully backed by our commitment to thoughtfully and diligently work through these issues. We simply recognize that making America great again requires a certain time commitment. Delivering meaningful results was never assumed to be easy, but the millions of Americans who placed their confidence in our leadership expect our full and best effort.