Vulnerable Democrats want to go home and campaign.
Mitch McConnell and other Senate Republicans are talking about cancelling the Senate’s August recess. They claim they need the extra time for confirmations the Democrats have obstructed but there’s a greater strategy afoot.
David M. Drucker writes at the Washington Examiner:
How Senate Republicans could use the August recess to their midterm advantage
Senate Republicans on Wednesday were in intense discussions about canceling the August recess, a move that could cripple vulnerable Democrats running for re-election in red states.
With President Trump’s encouragement, Republicans are threatening to keep the Senate open for an extended summer session to process agenda items delayed by Democratic obstruction. But the political benefits of denying incumbent Democrats valuable time on the campaign trail is also factor in the Republicans’ deliberations, and why they appear more willing that usual to give up a treasured annual vacation.
“It most certainly has been an item that’s discussed,” Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., told the Washington Examiner. “There’s no way around it. If they’re not able to go home at a time in which they’re campaigning, it’s more of a challenge for them.”…
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has yet to weigh in with an official recommendation.
Notably, McConnell is keeping his options open, where in the past he was quick to sideline the suggestion. McConnell is continuing to confer with Trump and Senate Republicans, to see what kind of support there is among his members. So far, at least 16 GOP senators, led by Georgia’s David Perdue, are urging McConnell to pull the trigger.
Burgess Everett of Politico has more:
Say it ain’t so: McConnell threatens to kill August recess
The GOP leader told Republican chairmen on Wednesday that he would speak to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) about whether Democrats are willing to cooperate at all on spending bills and President Donald Trump’s nominations in order to avoid scuttling this year’s four-week break. McConnell also said he needed to speak with Trump about the matter; the president said last week the Senate should “not go home” until it completes its work on spending bills and funding the border wall.
A group of more junior senators are publicly urging McConnell to cancel recess to get the Senate’s work done — and to keep 10 vulnerable Democratic senators off the campaign trail. A group of 16 senators sent McConnell a letter this month urging him to cancel the regular summer break, and several of them held a press conference pressing McConnell on the issue.
As you can probably imagine, Trump likes this idea:
The Senate should get funding done before the August break, or NOT GO HOME. Wall and Border Security should be included. Also waiting for approval of almost 300 nominations, worst in history. Democrats are doing everything possible to obstruct, all they know how to do. STAY!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 12, 2018
To make matters worse for Democrats, their lead on the generic ballot continues to shrink:
Dem lead in generic ballot continues to shrink, now at just 4.7 points in RCP Average. https://t.co/ttJtD9HTN4
— Tom Bevan (@TomBevanRCP) May 17, 2018
Allahpundit of Hot Air puts that point in perspective:
More Shrinkage: Democrats’ Lead On Generic Ballot Dips Further To 4.7 Points
The news yesterday was that, at 5.2 points, the Dems’ generic-ballot advantage had dwindled to its lowest point of Trump’s presidency. But as encouraging as that was, there were milestones still untouched by the GOP. Yesterday the party was at 40.2 percent on the ballot, tied for its highest mark of the Trump era. But they’d never once inched above that since Inauguration Day.
Until now. As I write this they’re sitting at 40.5 percent, just 4.7 points back of Democrats. If they can knock another point off that lead, they’d probably be narrow favorites to hold the House. And needless to say, they’re heavy favorites right now to hold the Senate.
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