Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell announced Tuesday he was cancelling the Senate’s August recess so that it could work on confirming the President’s nominees and passing government spending bills. The move denies Florida Senator Bill Nelson valuable time in his home state to campaign for reelection.
“This is nothing but raw politics,” Nelson told reporters at the Capitol after hearing of McConnell’s decision.
In announcing the cancellation of the August recess, McConnell blamed Democrats. He said the decision was made as the result of political moves on the part of Senate Democrats to delay important votes.
“Due to the historic obstruction by Senate Democrats of the President’s nominees, and the goal of passing appropriations bills prior to the end of the fiscal year, the August recess has been canceled,” McConnell said in a statement. “Senators should expect to remain in session in August to pass legislation, including appropriations bills, and to make additional progress on the President’s nominees.”
McConnell’s announcement was welcomed news to Nelson’s Republican opponent, Gov. Rick Scott. Scott called the announcement “promising” in a tweet.
“Working Floridians don’t get to take the month of August off, and neither should career politicians,” he added.
It’s promising to see the Senate cancel its month long vacation and try and get some work done. Working Floridians don’t get to take the month of August off, and neither should career politicians. #MakeWashingtonWork
— Rick Scott (@ScottforFlorida) June 5, 2018
The Senate is still expected to have off the first week of August. But, Nelson could have used the extra time to campaign in Florida. Scott has been waging an aggressive battle on the ground and over the airwaves in the state. Since entering the race in early April, the Scott campaign has ran 8 television ads compared to one for Nelson.
The race in Florida is one of ten that Senate Democrats are closely watching and need to win if they are to have any hope of taking control of the Senate. Those ten seats happen to be in states that were won by President Trump.
Nelson is seeking his fourth term in the Senate and is facing his toughest reelection bid of his political career. Scott has spent the past two months trying to label Nelson as a career politician who hasn’t accomplished much since entering politics in the 1970’s.