Gallagher Calls on House to Cancel August Recess

June 6, 2018
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Mike Gallagher and a group of his colleagues sent a letter to House leadership, urging them to cancel the August recess until the House finishes its work on behalf of the American people. The letter is a part of a broader ‘Drain the Swamp’ effort, led by Rep. Gallagher, to hold Congress accountable. At the forefront of this effort is Rep. Gallagher’s Do Your Job Act, which would prohibit Congress from taking a break in legislative activity until it passes all twelve appropriations bills.

The letter comes on the heels of a recent speech that Rep. Gallagher delivered to his colleagues, in which he said:

“In just two months, we will once again adjourn for a month-long recess without a budget or getting all our appropriations done. And once again, just 30 days after the recess, if we don’t make some hard choices the government may shut down AGAIN, cutting our constituents from access to programs they depend on.

We know exactly how this plays out. We saw it last year as we careened from one budgetary deadline to the next, with one short term extension after another. We simply cannot keep repeating these same mistakes over and over again—doing so would be the literal definition of insanity.

So I urge my colleagues: Let’s put an end to this madness and cancel the August recess. Let’s stay here, let’s work with a sense of urgency and purpose to better this country because that’s what our constituents sent us here to do. And that is the very least we owe them.”

The full text of the letter is below:

Dear Speaker Ryan:

We urge you and the House leadership to reconsider the legislative calendar and to cancel the August recess if the House has not addressed the many critical issues facing our Nation and the American people. We would like to offer our full support to expedite floor consideration for funding bills, even if we must work nights, weekends, and forgo the August recess to avoid another last-minute funding battle like we encountered in March.

The House has yet to complete consideration of any of the twelve annual appropriations bills on the floor. With fewer than forty legislative days until the end of the fiscal year, Congress should remain in Washington until the work is complete. The House should immediately begin floor consideration of all funding bills, so they can be openly debated through regular order and sent to the U.S. Senate for immediate consideration.

We appreciate that district work periods allow Members to visit with folks back in their respective communities, but it is now becoming a habit for Congress to abandon a long “to do” list in the rush to get out of town. It is easy to anticipate that this August will be no exception.

But Congress has not done its job. It has not completed the work of the people, including the FY2019 appropriations process. Our constituents expect us to stay and finish the job. We stand ready to work around the clock to get the government funded before we break in August, well before the September 30 deadline. We, and the American people, expect Congress to work tirelessly to restore American greatness.

These critical national priorities are too important to delay. We ask that you keep the House in session to finish the business of the people. Furthermore, I ask that you urge the Senate to also remain in session until the appropriations process is complete.

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