McConnell Says He Will Delay Start of Senate Recess

(CN) — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday the Senate will delay the start of the August recess until the third week of the month, as he and his fellow Republicans prepare to unveil a revised version of their healthcare bill before the end of the week.

In a statement Tuesday, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the delay is necessary to complete work on legislation and deal with Trump administration nominees.

He later told reporters GOP lawmakers plan to unveil their revised health care bill Thursday and begin voting on it next week. Once that’s accomplished, he said, the Senate can move on to work on other issues.

But even as he described his plans to reporters, the prospects of his divided party actually repealing much of the Affordable Care Act seemed as gloomy as ever.

Earlier, one Republican senator said he is “very pessimistic” that the health care measure will be approved, while another warned leaders about retaliation by conservative voters should they react to a collapse of the measure by striking a deal with Democrats.

Underscoring the uncertainty, No. 3 Senate GOP leader John Thune of South Dakota told the Associated Press he would not make predictions about the health care vote.

“I think we have narrowed it down to where we know where the decision points are,” he said.

The Senate had been scheduled to begin its five-week recess on July 31. The delay would push it to the week of Aug. 14.

McConnell said that once the Senate “completes its work on health care reform,” it would deal with the defense policy bill and nominations.

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