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Wittman to Speaker Ryan: Keep House in Washington Through August

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Washington, June 7, 2017 | comments

WASHINGTON - With only 29 in-session days left between today and the annual August recess, and with the House still having critical legislative items to address, Congressman Rob Wittman (VA-01) today sent a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan calling for the House to remain in-session through August to complete critical legislative items. Of most pressing concern is the FY2018 budget and 12 appropriations bills.

In the letter Rep. Wittman highlighted his resolution, H.Res 43, which changes congressional procedure to prohibit the House from taking an August recess unless it has passed all regular appropriations bills by July 31.

"The American people expect us to do the basic work of governing and Members should be willing to forego their August recess to complete that work,” Rep. Wittman said. "We cannot allow Congress to leave town for a month when we need a budget, to approve spending bills, and to address the debt limit." 

The full text of the letter is below:

Dear Speaker Ryan:

I urge you and the House leadership to reconsider the legislative calendar and to cancel the August recess if the House has not addressed the many critical issues facing our Nation and the American people. As you know, I have long advocated for Congress to skip the August recess and stay in session until the appropriations process is complete

Unfortunately, the House has yet to begin consideration of the twelve annual appropriations bills. With fewer than forty legislative days until the end of the fiscal year, Congress should remain in Washington until the work is complete. That is why I’ve introduced H.Res 43, the Stay on Schedule (S.O.S.) resolution, to change congressional procedures to prohibit the House from taking an August recess unless it has passed all regular appropriations bills by July 31.

I appreciate that district work periods allow Members to visit with folks back in their respective communities, but it is now becoming a habit for Congress to abandon a long “to do” list in the rush to get out of town. It is easy to anticipate that this August will be no exception.

When I am working in Virginia, the one thing I hear repeatedly is “you guys need to do your jobs and get something done up there in Washington.”

But Congress has not done its job. It has not completed the work of the people, including the FY2018 budget and appropriations process. Our constituents expect us to stay and finish the job.

These critical national priorities are too important to delay. I ask that you would keep the House in session to finish the business of the people. Furthermore, I ask that you urge the Senate to also remain in session until the appropriations process is complete.


Robert J. Wittman

Congressman Rob Wittman represents the 1st District of Virginia. He serves on the House Natural Resources Committee and the House Armed Services Committee, where he is the Chairman of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee.

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