Senator Lankford: Cancel August Recess to Address Pressing Issues in Congress

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today joined a group of Senators to ask Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to cancel or shorten the Senate’s scheduled August state work period if meaningful progress has not been made on several pressing issues in Congress.

The Senators urge Congress to focus on the following five priorities before adjourning in August: fixing health care, passing a budget resolution, funding the government through appropriations, dealing with the debt ceiling, and improving our tax code. The senators outlined their request in a letter sent to Leader McConnell, which included a countdown of the remaining scheduled work days until the end of the fiscal year, September 30.

Lankford was joined by Senators David Perdue (R-GA), Steve Daines (R-MT), Joni Ernst (R-IA), John Kennedy (R-LA), Mike Lee (R-UT), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Luther Strange (R-AL), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), and Thom Tillis (R-NC).

CLICK HERE for a PDF of the letter. The full text is below:



June 30, 2017

Dear Majority Leader Mitch McConnell:

          We are united in our belief that we must work with a sense of urgency to deliver conservative solutions for pressing legislative issues on behalf of the American people. Our current Senate calendar shows only 33 potential working days remaining before the end of 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.

           There are five imperatives which must be accomplished this year. We must complete the first phase of Obamacare repeal and replace. Next, we have to pass a budget that serves as a reconciliation vehicle for reforming our outdated tax code. Before September 30th,, we must agree on an appropriation that responsibly funds the government. Also, we must deal with our debt limit before that approximate date.  If we successfully navigate those priorities, we can finally get to our once in a generation opportunity on tax reform. Growing the economy, repairing our infrastructure, and rebuilding our military are all dependent on accomplishing the tasks before us.

           Each of these five issues is challenging in its own right. For example, the passage of a budget and all twelve appropriations bills before September 30th is a rarity, occurring only 4 times in the last 43 years. However, the stakes are much higher this year. We simply cannot afford to lose any additional time in resolving these issues when tax reform is hanging in the balance. Robust change to our tax code is our single most important economic growth tool, and there is already growing anticipation for us to act. Failure to deliver could have devastating economic consequences. 

           We appreciate your leadership, both in advancing our agenda and by moving a package of bills this year to roll back regulations. This effort has already helped deliver much needed relief and advance economic growth. Further, we have been encouraged by your work to date to help us stay on track. However, there is much to be done. 

           Please be assured that our request is fully backed by our commitment to thoughtfully and diligently work through these issues. Delivering meaningful results was never assumed to be easy, but the millions of Americans who placed their confidence in our leadership expect our full and best effort.


Senator David Perdue

Senator James Lankford

Senator Steve Daines

Senator Joni Ernst

Senator John Kennedy

Senator Mike Lee

Senator Mike Rounds

Senator Luther Strange

Senator Dan Sullivan

Senator Thom Tillis