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McConnell cancels most of Senate August recess

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday he was canceling most of the Senate's August recess, an election-year move that could help lawmakers clear extra work while keeping vulnerable Democratic senators off the campaign trail.

"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, a Kentucky Republican, said in a statement.

Senators are expected to be able to spend the first week of the month in their states, then return to Washington. Aside from confirming Trump's choices for executive branch jobs and judgeships, the Senate GOP also aims to pass a bill funding the government before the current money expires at the end of September.

The action will allow Senate Republicans to move more quickly toward helping Trump reshape both the executive and judicial branches of the government. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Tuesday the administration applauds the action.

But it will also affect the major parties' fight for control of the Senate in November, as Republicans try to hold on to or expand their 51 to 49 seat majority. Twenty-six Democrats and independents who caucus with them face re-election this year, including 10 in states Trump won in 2016. That compares to only nine incumbent Republicans running this year, with only a handful facing credible threats of getting unseated.

Three fewer weeks at home will cut down on the time those Democrats have to campaign and raise funds.

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