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GOP senators ignore McConnell's lecture about showing up for work

McConnell can’t get one-fifth of the GOP caucus to show up for his sham summer Senate session.

By Eric Boehlert - August 21, 2018
Mitch McConnell

Republicans heard Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s plea last week about how imperative it was for them to attend the rare August session this summer — and they ignored it.

For the second week in a row, 10 GOP senators didn’t bother to show up for votes, or participate in what McConnell and the GOP hoped would be a way to trip up Democratic senators facing re-election this year.

“More than a dozen senators missed Monday night votes, despite a lecture last week from leadership about skipping work during the rare August session,” The Hill reports. “Fifteen senators — five Democrats and 10 Republicans — did not show up for two votes in the Senate. ”

Canceling the Senate’s traditional summer recess was designed, in part, to keep vulnerable Democrats in Washington, D.C., and off the campaign trail during the summer month. McConnell himself warned that the GOP faces a possible “Category 3, 4, or 5” electoral storm in November.

But the heavy-handed maneuver has turned into an embarrassment for McConnell who, despite last week’s reprimand, still can’t get one-fifth of his caucus to show up in Washington, D.C.

If this week unfolds like last week in the Senate, don’t look for much to get accomplished.

Last week, the Judicial Committee could not even assemble the minimum nine senators necessary to establish a quorum to actually get anything done.

The whole thing resembles a charade, especially when you consider that two of the Republican no-show senators are Mike Lee (UT) and Thom Tillis (NC). Back in May, they specifically wrote to McConnell urging him to cancel the August recess.

“We, and the American people, expect Congress to work tirelessly to restore American greatness,” they wrote three months ago.

Note that neither of those two Republicans is up for re-election this year and do not need to worry about spending August shaking hands on the campaign trail.

Today, even some Republicans concede the summer session has become joke.

“I think everyone knows we’re just marking time,” admitted Bob Corker (R-TN), who is retiring this year. “This is all for show.”

It’s a show lots of Republicans aren’t interested in attending.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

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