Ben Sasse Thinks Congress Should Cancel August Recess to Work on Healthcare

Posted: Jul 02, 2017 5:02 PM

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) appeared on Jake Tapper's show Sunday, acknowledging the difficulty of the GOP Senate leadership attempting to sway 52 out of 100 senators to vote for a complex repeal and replace plan. Sasse again pitched a repeal only plan - with a twist.

"I want to add a delay to its implementation date so that if we did full repeal, there would be time, but we should get to work on replace....I'd like to say, let's do the repeal, then let's try to get 60 out of 100 senators. Let's bring everybody into the room. Let's do this full-time, 18 hours a day, six days a week. Let's cancel the August state work period, and let's do it in full public view and have hearings. We pledged, that, and the American people deserve that."

Understandably, nobody wants to be in steamy Washington, D.C. in August. But Sasse is absolutely correct. Extended hearings would mean that senators would have to bone up on the issues and have intelligent, informed debate and not a few minutes of grandstanding each. There could be no accusation of secret, backroom deals, and the American people would see a GOP-led Congress doing something extremely rare - actually working.

Nine other GOP Senators have joined Sasse. A letter was delivered to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell making the request and noting that there are only 33 legislative days left in the fiscal year.

“This does not appear to give us enough time to adequately address the issues that demand immediate attention. Therefore, we respectfully request that you consider truncating, if not completely foregoing, the scheduled August state work period, allowing us more time to complete our work.” 

On Friday 12 members of the House delivered a letter to Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), authored by Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), reminding Ryan that GOP candidates promised "that with unified Republican government we could achieve many of the policy priorities that have been mere wishes for the last several years,” and asked him to cancel the August recess.