The Senate could leave as soon as the end of this week for October recess, amid an impasse over coronavirus relief and a looming fight over a Supreme Court vacancy.
Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) suggested Wednesday that senators may “very possibly” head home if they approve a stopgap spending bill this week to fund the government through December 11. The House passed the measure Tuesday night, and funding runs out on Sept. 30.
Thune said the Senate could, however, be called back if there is a deal on coronavirus relief or a vote on President Donald Trump’s nominee to fill the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat.
“My guess is if we wrap up the CR then yeah we probably should be done for at least a while until something pops on one of those other issues,” Thune said.
Democrats could, however, object to the Senate going on recess.
The upper chamber was originally scheduled to be in next week. But with no visible progress between Democratic leaders and the White House over a new coronavirus relief package, senators are eager to go home and campaign before the Nov. 3 election. Control of the Senate is currently a toss-up.
While most of the Senate will likely be gone, the Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to move ahead on confirmation hearings for Trump’s nominee. The committee can still hold hearings when the Senate is not in session and is eyeing the week of October 12, according to a GOP aide.
Several Senate Republicans and Trump are pushing for a final confirmation vote before Election Day.
Burgess Everett contributed to this story.