Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote GOP senator to try to reverse requirement that Pentagon remove Confederate names from bases No, ‘blue states’ do not bail out ‘red states’ MORE (R-Ky.) suggested Friday that he could keep lawmakers in Washington until the end of October if Democrats seek to slow or block the confirmation of President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE’s judicial nominees.
McConnell said the Senate would soon wrap up some of its major to-do items, like funding the government and confirming Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. But he hinted that it would be up to Democrats to strike a deal on nominations if they want to leave town before the end of October.
“Our friends on the other side who have a number of incumbents running for reelection this year are going to want to … recess,” McConnell said at the Values Voter Summit, an annual gathering of conservatives in Washington. “It won’t surprise you that I’m making my list and checking it twice,” McConnell said. “That, my friends, is how we’re dealing with obstruction.”
If McConnell were to hold the Senate in session at the end of October, it could keep more than two dozen Democrats who are defending their seats this year off the campaign trail in the final days before voters head to the polls.
The Kentucky Republican’s suggestion comes after he canceled most of the chamber’s August recess, holding senators back from hitting the campaign trail.
Democrats are defending far more seats than Republicans this year, including 10 in states won by President Trump in 2016.
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But the move could keep some Republicans from heading back to their states ahead of the elections.
Sen. Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerOn The Trail: Democrats plan to hammer Trump on Social Security, Medicare Lobbying World Democrats spend big to put Senate in play MORE (R-Nev.) is considered among the most vulnerable incumbents up for reelection this year, and Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote The Hill’s Morning Report – Trump’s public standing sags after Floyd protests GOP senators introduce resolution opposing calls to defund the police MORE (R-Texas) is facing an increasingly close race against Rep. Beto O’RourkeBeto O’RourkeBiden will help close out Texas Democrats’ virtual convention: report O’Rourke on Texas reopening: ‘Dangerous, dumb and weak’ Parties gear up for battle over Texas state House MORE (D-Texas).