Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell is defending his decision to cancel his chamber's August recess. The majority leader is pointing to what he calls “historic obstruction” by the Democrats.
McConnell argues Senate Democrats are holding up nominees and the Senate will stay in session in August to make progress on that issue and pass appropriations bills. Democrats quickly seized on the news, saying the Republican is keeping them off the campaign trail ahead of the November midterm elections.
Asked if the move was a shot across the bow aimed at his political opponents, McConnell responded, "If you look at the amount of work that we have to do, it's conceiveable to me that we can't use these weeks, even with cooperation, we've got a lot of approproiation bills to pass. We've got this backlog of nominations."
The Senate had been expected to leave town on August 3 for a four-week break before returning to Capitol Hill in early September.
Asked if the president has the power to pardon himself, as Trump asserted in a Monday tweet, McConnell said he had no comment.