Skip to content

Republicans Can’t Win on August Recess

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

In politics, it’s often damned if you do, damned if you don’t, and Republicans and August recess is no different.

Last week, some Democrats criticized Republicans for taking the traditional August break.

“House Republicans just fled the scene of their crime, skipping out on the American people for a five-week vacation without lifting a finger to fix the mess they have created,” Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel said in a press release.

“House Democrats stand ready to stay and get the job done for the American people, even as House Republicans flee the scene of their crime,” the New York lawmaker added.

That is a very different tone from a Tuesday video message from DCCC Executive Director Kelly Ward, who encouraged supporters to embrace Republicans’ exit from the nation’s capital.

“That is 37 days that the House Republicans should be home in their districts listening to you,” Ward said. “But it is also 37 days that you have to hold the Republicans accountable and make sure that they hear your concerns. And we at the DCCC we really encourage you to take advantage of that opportunity.”

Of course, if the two parties were in different positions, Republicans would be playing the same games.

Five years ago, a small band of Republican lawmakers took to the House floor in public protest after the Democratic majority adjourned for August recess.

“Many of us speaking on the floor today, including the Republican leadership, believe the president of the United States should call this congress back into session immediately under Article II of the Constitution, and demand that this congress deal with the issue of energy independence,” then-Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., told Fox News.

“Who cares? I’m in a meeting actually working,” one Democratic aide said in the article at the time.

The game is timeless; the parties just switch jerseys from time to time.