McConnell goes nuclear on recess time
Until Tuesday, only three things were certain in the world: death, taxes, and congressional recesses. Mitch McConnell has a say on two of them, and his decision to delay the August recess by two weeks makes him rare among congressional leaders, who often bluster about yanking vacation time away from members but rarely do. In 2009, Senate leader Harry Reid threatened to keep senators away from their Memorial Day and August breaks, but that went nowhere. Ditto House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who threatened to dock members a recess week in September of 2013.
The House leadership actually did make members stick around in the summer of 2014—after senators had already bolted for home—to vote on a border-funding bill. But it was only for one day.
One group certainly wasn’t happy about McConnell’s decision: journalists. As HuffPost’s Matt Fuller tweeted: “There was an audible moan in the Senate press gallery as we all learned McConnell is delaying August recess.”
For Mullin, pledges are made to be broken
GOP Rep. Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma ruffled a few feathers last week when he reneged on a pledge to serve only three terms, with his former home-state senator Tom Coburn going so far as to say he’ll actively work to defeat him.
But it’s not the only pledge Mullin broke. The grassroots group U.S. Term Limits points out that Mullin also went back on his pledge to cosponsor the organization’s constitutional amendment on congressional term limits. Out of 36 pledge signers in the House, he’s the only one not to cosponsor the resolution. In the Senate, two members out of 13, Bill Cassidy and Tim Scott, haven’t backed their pledge.
“It’s very disingenuous of someone to say they’ll only serve three terms and then break that pledge,” said Nick Tomboulides, U.S. Term Limits’ executive director. Mullin’s campaign didn’t reply to a request for comment. In a video posted last week, Mullin said he’s aware that “people are going to be upset,” but it’s important for Oklahoma to “have people in key places.”