Senate delays recess to work on health reform

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The Senate will delay the start of the August recess until the third week of that month, according to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The Senate will postpone its summer recess until the third week of August in order to complete its work on healthcare reform and other legislative matters.

“In order to provide more time to complete action on important legislative items and process nominees that have been stalled by a lack of cooperation from our friends across the aisle, the Senate will delay the start of the August recess until the third week of August,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Tuesday.

The announcement came after several Republican leaders urged the Senate to stay in Washington rather than return home, CNN reported.

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Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, told the publication that it made sense to delay the recess. "We've got a lot of nominations to move through, we've got a lot of legislation to get through, we've got the healthcare legislation to deal with. I think the Senate needs to do its work," he said.

McConnell has his work cut out to unite senators on his proposed healthcare bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act. Ten senators have openly defected from the current draft and three are withholding support. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said earlier this week that it may be time for Republicans to work with Democrats for a bipartisan healthcare solution.

The GOP is expected to unveil a revised version of the Senate's bill on Wednesday, the Associated Press reported. John Cornyn of Texas, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, told reporters it is likely to retain a pair of taxes—one on investment income and another on the payroll tax that helps finance Medicare—that were introduced under the Obama administration. Both taxes helped pay for the ACA's coverage expansion, and primarily affected wealthier Americans.

“Hopefully everything we’re doing now helps another member get to ’yes,’” Cornyn said. “There’s really no other reason to tweak this thing.”

Editor's note: This article has been updated to add information about what will likely be in the Senate's revised bill.

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