Monday's HOT MIC

Monday's HOT MIC

Be still my heart. Republicans in Congress are considering the cancellation of their August recess.

As of today, the 115th Congress has been in session exactly 89 days. So far, there have been 169 days in 2017. This is actually a better percentage of days worked by Congress than in recent Congresses.

Of course, just because Congress isn't in session, that doesn't mean that members aren't "working," although these are people who count golf junkets to Scotland and free trips to Jamaica for an "anti-terrorism" conference as work.

But as far as conducting the people's business, there appears to be a deficient work ethic among members of both parties.

So refusing to take the entire month of August off is a step in the right direction.

Alarmed by the stalemate on healthcare reform, lack of progress on tax reform and appropriations bills that are far behind schedule, Republican lawmakers across Congress are increasingly willing to consider canceling the month-long August recess.

Senate Republican negotiators reported that they are not close to a deal on healthcare reform and that scheduling a vote by July 4, which Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has pushed, is likely unrealistic.

That impasse has held up work on a budget resolution, which is necessary to move tax reform and the annual appropriations bills.

Once Republicans vote on a budget resolution for 2018, it will wipe out the special vehicle they plan to use to pass healthcare reform with a simple majority vote — a vehicle that was set up by the budget resolution for 2017.

Lawmakers calculate there are only 45 legislative days until the end of the fiscal year, on Sept. 30.

With the party still sharply divided on healthcare and tax reform, it looks increasingly possible that Republican lawmakers will leave town in July for a monthlong break without any major accomplishments under their belts.

“I think there’s a majority that probably supports being here,” said Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.), referring to the possibility of canceling or cutting short the August recess.

These guys make $174,000 a year. It's about time they started earning it.