When Mitch McConnell became majority leader in 2014 he made a promise: He’d get the Senate working harder again.
But in a presidential election year with party conventions hitting in July and the battle to preserve the fragile Republican majority on in the Senate, lawmakers will spend more time away from Washington this year than any other time since 1956, according to a report in Politico. The news outlet reports that right now the Senate is on track to work just 124 days this year.
As Politico points out, it’s not uncommon for lawmakers to spend time campaigning back home in an election year, but McConnell promised to make his tenure about getting the Senate back on a rigorous work schedule including a spike in Friday work days. So far, as Politico writes, the Senate has had just three of those this year, with no votes scheduled.
This is all subject to shift, of course, if McConnell makes good on his promise to keep lawmakers in session through the week if members fail to cooperate with the contentious appropriations process. And, Politico notes that McConnell’s 2015 Senate session was marked with more days in Washington than Reid’s 2013 and 2014 sessions. But as far as McConnell radically changing the culture of work in the Senate, we’re still waiting.