Schumer delays Senate recess in pursuit of Ukraine/border deal

The Senate recessed for the week Thursday afternoon, as usual, but in a surprise move Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told them that this isn’t the beginning of their holiday recess. They’ll be back in on Monday to continue negotiations on Ukraine aid and border security.

“As I have said, if we believe something is important and urgent we should stay and get the job done,” Schumer told the Senate. “We have to get this done. Our Republican colleagues who have said action on the border is so urgent should have no problem with continuing to work next week.”

That attempt to shame Republicans was worth trying, though ultimately futile. These are not people who can be shamed. One reporter tweeted this exchange overheard in the hallway:

R senator wishes Dem senator “happy holidays.”

D: You’re not coming back?

R: “No, no, no. This thing’s over. You guys are coming back. We’re not coming back.”

Another asked GOP Sens. John Cornyn and Marsha Blackburn if they’ll be back next week. Cornyn said only “if there is something to vote on,” and Blackburn replied, “I doubt it.”

The Senate staying also makes Republican Speaker Mike Johnson look even more feckless, sending the House out on a three-week break with so much business pending. “The House will not wait around to receive and debate a rushed product,” he said in a statement on Thursday night reported in The New York Times.

The House also left before acting on a resolution passed unanimously in the Senate Thursday to provide back pay to all the senior military officers whose promotions had been delayed by Sen. Tommy Tuberville since February. The Alabama Republican finally dropped his hold on the promotions of several hundred officers over Pentagon abortion policy earlier this month.

Schumer likely intends to line up votes on the remaining 11 nominees for four-star positions that Tuberville is still blocking. Maybe enough Republicans will blow off coming back to work that he can get that done by unanimous vote, too.


White House engages on Ukraine/immigration stalemate

Zelenskyy meets brick wall of Putin-backing Republicans

Senate Republicans hand Putin a propaganda victory

Tommy Tuberville raises the white flag of surrender

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