The House Freedom Caucus on Tuesday night called on Republican leadership to cancel the August recess to continue work on tax reform and other GOP priorities.
The group of several dozen conservative hardliners during their weekly meeting took the official position to work through the break, which is quickly drawing near as Republicans scramble to pass President Donald Trump’s agenda.
“We need to work through August recess to get everything done,” said Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), coming out of the meeting. “We believe that we need to stay through August to get through tax reform… and get our appropriations done.”
The group’s request ups the pressure on GOP leaders, who could face the same request from an impatient White House thirsty for legislative victories. Four months into Trump’s presidency, Republicans have accomplished very little. The Obamacare repeal effort, stalled in the House for weeks, is slowly working its way through the Senate. And the party is divided over how to overhaul the tax code.
Lawmakers only have seven weeks left before the break. And, once they return, much of the focus will be on funding the government before it expires Sept. 30, and raising the debt ceiling — two votes that will suck up a lot of time and energy. Lawmakers really only have until the end of 2017 to finalize their landmark pieces of legislation. Since 2018 is an election year, every vote becomes tougher.