The House of Representatives will be out for six weeks starting October 1 and the Senate is expected to follow suit in order to allow members to campaign for November’s midterm elections.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, has officially marked the House calendar as “out of session” starting October 1, and the chamber will continue its recess until after the elections. The Senate is officially out for a week beginning October 3, but senators say it’s likely that Majority Leader Chuck Schumer will follow the House’s lead.
Following a meeting of his Democratic caucus on September 28, Schumer, of New York, didn’t tell members whether the Senate would return in October, leading some to speculate they wouldn’t return until after Election Day, November 8. Schumer later told reporters the Senate schedule hasn’t changed, but Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, said he expected to be off during the entire month.
South Dakota Senator John Thune, a member of the Republican leadership, said he would be “very surprised” if the upper chamber returned to work in October.
It isn’t unusual for Congress to break for several weeks preceding elections, according to observers. The Senate is expected to pass a short-term funding bill through mid-December on September 29, then recess, with the House expected to vote on September 30.
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