Speed Reads


The Senate isn't letting Trump replace Jeff Sessions or John Kelly during its August recess

The "swamp" is draining for the rest of the summer. On Thursday night, the Senate wrapped up business until it gavels back into full session on Sept. 5, joining the House in leaving Washington, D.C., for the August recess. On Friday, President Trump heads off for a 17-day "working vacation" at his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey (his 12th and longest trip to a Trump property since his inauguration, The Washington Post notes). Before adjourning, however, the Senate unanimously agreed to nine pro-forma sessions, blocking Trump from making any recess appointments.

There was some concern in the Senate, and discussion in the White House, that Trump would fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions in August and replace him with somebody who was not compromised by ties to Russia, or would appoint a new homeland security secretary to replace Chief of Staff John Kelly. If Trump had made such a recess appointment, circumventing Senate confirmation, the recess appointee would serve until the end of the current Congress, or December 2018. Having pro-forma sessions, which typically last about a minute and require a member of the majority party to preside over, every three days throughout August will prevent such appointments.

That means Trump will have to find something else to do for the next 17 days at his golf resort. Obviously, it will be work-related. Because, as he noted in 2012, only people who are in the wrong job take vacations. Peter Weber