Congress is currently not in session due to the July 4th holiday, and discussions on Republicans’ Obamacare replacement will not continue until this recess ends. So exactly how long will Congress be gone for the 4th of July? When can discussions on the health care bill resume?
According to the current Congressional calendar, the Senate returns from its current recess on Monday, July 10th. However, the House of Representatives does not return until Tuesday, July 11th. Because it’s the Senate that is currently negotiating a health care bill, July 10th is when these talks can resume.
This week-long break is not Congress’ summer vacation, though. That would be in August, when both the House and the Senate have the entire month off. Congress will only be working until July 28th, and then they will go home all the way until September 5th. Republicans, then, are hoping to get their health care bill passed before July 28th.
Not everyone is convinced that this can happen, and so some in Congress are actually calling for the August recess to be canceled or at least shortened. According to CNN, a group of Republican senators, including David Perdue, Steve Daines, Joni Ernst, John Kennedy, James Lankford, Mike Lee, Mike Rounds, Luther Strange, Dan Sullivan and Thom Tillis, recently wrote to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell urging him to cancel or shorten the August recess.
“Our current Senate calendar shows only 33 potential working days remaining before the end of the fiscal year,” the senators wrote. “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 forgoing, the scheduled August state work period, allowing us more time to complete our work.”
Congress is known for having much longer vacations than the vast majority of Americans. In February of this year, for President’s Day, Congress had the entire week off. For Easter and Passover in April, they had two weeks off. And for Memorial Day 2017, they again had the whole week off.
The original goal with the health care bill was to get it passed by the July 4th recess. But this did not happen, and it now remains to be seen whether it can get done before the August recess.