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Nelson blasts decision to cancel August Senate recess as 'raw politics'

 

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@alextdaugherty

With Gov. Rick Scott touring the state in his official and campaign capacities at all times, Sen. Bill Nelson needs every minute he can get in Florida between now and Election Day. 

Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is determined not to let that happen. 

The Republican leader, who controls the schedule in the U.S. Senate, announced Tuesday that Congress' upper chamber will be in session for most of August, when senators typically travel home to campaign for reelection and raise funds. 

"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.

Nelson, one of 10 Democrats seeking reelection in states that President Donald Trump won in 2016, said McConnell's rationale is laughable. 

"Mitch is using any excuse he can in order to hold those of us who want to be home campaigning, hold us here in Washington because we have to vote. That's what he's doing," Nelson said. "This is nothing but raw politics. He can do all of that stuff and of course I'll be here voting, which is why the people sent me here, but at the end of the day that's not going to do him any good." 

Nelson added that there's lots of important legislation that the Senate should consider during the month of August, but McConnell's decision isn't about getting more bills passed or nominees confirmed. 

Scott has spent millions on television ads while Nelson has decided not to spend money so far. Outside groups from both sides have started to spend on television and digital advertising ahead of what could be the most expensive U.S. Senate campaign in history.

Update: Scott expressed support for McConnell's decision on Twitter. The Florida legislature wrapped up its regular session in March and is not expected to meet in 2018 unless a special session is called by Scott or the legislature. 

 

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