House Recess To End Next Week, At Least Temporarily

Speaker Nancy Pelosi has apparently decided that the House of Representatives will be back in session next week instead of waiting until September 14th:

Speaker Nancy Pelosi threw lawmakers’ summer plans into chaos Wednesday, announcing the House will interrupt its six-week recess and return to Washington next week to act on Medicaid and education funding for states.

Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced the news via Twitter, saying, “I will be calling the House back into session early next week to save teachers’ jobs and help seniors & children.”

Pelosi made the decision in consultation with congressional leaders following the Senate’s morning vote to move forward on the $26.1 billion aid package. The Senate is expected to pass the bill Thursday.

This is unlikely to make lawmakers all that happy, though:

The decision by Pelosi seems to have caught lawmakers by surprise. A House leadership aide said that, while members were aware of the possibility that the Senate could act on the aid package and force their early return, “no one counts on the Senate.”

Pelosi announced the move before final passage of the Senate bill to give lawmakers as much time as possible to get back to Washington, an aide said. Many schedule family vacations and overseas trips for the long August recess, complicating the speedy return of 435 members.

A Democratic consultant called the scheduling change “a logistical nightmare” for members who will now have to cancel a slew of campaign and other events to make it back to D.C.

One lawmaker told The Hill that members received no warning of being recalled to the Capitol for votes during recess, especially with fewer than 100 days before the November elections. The member, “scheduled to the hilt” next week, has to rearrange planned events in the district as soon as possible.

Since the Senate is scheduled to leave town after confirming Elena Kagan later today, it’s probable that the House will go back into recess after voting on this bill.

FILED UNDER: Congress, Quick Takes, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook