GOP leader McConnell cancels most of Senate's August recess

President Donald Trump listens during a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sat Trump's private Mar-a Lago club Tuesday

On average, the Senate has taken 86 days to confirm a Trump nominee, more than any of the four previous presidents, according to the Partnership for Public Service.

"Doing anything around here is like pushing a major boulder up hill", Corker said.

Several lawmakers have said justifying tariffs on national security grounds was hurting US credibility and inviting retaliation that would hurt an otherwise solid economy. They plan to push it through their think-tank, grassroots political network, and Hispanic libertarian group.

The bill is sponsored by Republicans and frequent Trump critics Jeff Flake of Arizona and Bob Corker of Tennessee.

The House's version of the defense budget bill also gives the secretary of defense the authority to fund a military parade in Washington, D.C., to satisfy Trump's stated desire for an event like the Bastille Day parade he witnessed during his trip to Paris a year ago. McConnell has also made it a top priority to confirm as many of President Trump's lifetime judicial appointments as possible this year.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has announced that the Senate will be in session throughout much of August.

Representative Will Hurd, a Texas Republican, said he would support a similar move in the House. But the Senate version carries a warning to Trump, with a trade provision to block any White House plan to lift penalties on the China-based telecommunications company ZTE, which faces trade law violations over selling sensitive technologies to USA adversaries. Corker wasted little time in jumping in to craft his proposal.

Trump has imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from top US trading partners, including Canada, Mexico and the European Union.

The bill rolled out Wednesday requires the White "to submit to Congress any proposal to adjust imports in the interest of national security under Section 232 [of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962]". Nelson, however, sees the move more cynically.

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In fact, the progressive wing's embrace of the plan could reveal that McConnell's real reason for keeping senators in Washington wasn't about harming Democrats up for reelection, but protecting Republicans in the same situation.

Corker unveiled legislation Wednesday afternoon that would require lawmakers to approve of trade actions by the President that are done on the grounds of national security.

Corker isn't alone on his side of the aisle. Sen. But after the work conditions improved, the recess remained, allowing lawmakers to decompress, take foreign trips, campaign for reelection, and ramp up fundraising. "Our members are eager to actually get some things done like addressing the problem of increasing health care costs, the increasing costs of prescription drugs", Van Hollen said.

"But Corker declined, saying he told the president: "'I'm a United States senator, and, you know, I have responsibilities, and I'm going to continue to carry them out'".

Democrats say Trump secured a record number of circuit court judges in his first year, 12, to just three for Obama in his first year.

Republicans, who control both chambers of Congress, are likely anxious that a full five-week break would leave insufficient time to hammer out spending, increasing the possibility of a crippling government shutdown at the height of campaign season.

Now, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wants to bring that to an end - and the timing couldn't be more suspect.

"I think we have enough work to do for the American people that we should be here during these weeks", McConnell told reporters.

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