North Carolina Republican’s bill cancels House recess if spending bills haven’t passed

Rep. Chuck Edwards (R-N.C.) introduced a bill Wednesday that would keep the House working in August it fails to pass a complete slate of 12 appropriations bills.

The “Do Our Job Act” would cancel the August recess — the longest recess of the year — unless all the bills are passed.

“The American people don’t go home before their job is done, so why should Congress?” Edwards said in remarks from the floor Wednesday. “In the nearly five decades that our current appropriations process has been in place, Congress has only passed all 12 appropriations bills only four times. Four times in almost 50 years.”

“The American people have been far too generous with us, and their patience is wearing thin,” he continued. “We’re here to represent their interest and to keep this government running. It’s high time that we take our responsibility seriously, put our heads down, and get to work passing appropriations bills each year.”

Passing all 12 bills has been a priority for the House GOP. The effort and debates surrounding it have contributed to the downfall of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and rising discontent with Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.).

Johnson has so far failed to reach a deal with the Senate on government funding, and the September funding deadline sets up another battle in the appropriations process that has dominated House work for a year.

During the months-long negotiations over fiscal 2024 funding, the House only passed seven of the 12 bills.

Seven weeks of work, including this week, remain until the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30, which marks the deadline to pass the appropriations bills. The House has so far passed one spending bill for fiscal 2025, which funds the Department of Veterans Affairs and military construction.

Canceling the August recess would bump that total to 11 weeks of work, though the move would reduce the amount of time members could spend in their districts.

“If appropriations work is not done, we don’t go home. Simple is that,” Edwards said. “The American people deserve better than an 8 percent success rate for funding our government.”

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