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Senate's August recess cancelled as midterms loom

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Republicans are looking to put the pressure on incumbent Democrats seeking reelection in this year’s midterms by cutting their summer campaign time short.

Typically the end of the summer is when politicians try to ramp up their campaigning with just three months left until Election Day.

But this year it looks like that window will be smaller, after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the announcement Tuesday to cancel most of the Senate’s August recess.

“I’ve canceled the August recess,” said Sen. McConnell. “We have a lot of important work to do as a result of unprecedented obstruction.”

There won’t be a summer break this year for U.S. Senators and now Republicans like Sen. McConnell are blaming Democrats.

“Republicans have a majority in the U.S. Senate, they have a majority in the house, and they control the White House,” said Jason Critchlow, St. Joseph County Democratic Party chair. “How is it that you can possibly blame the Democrats for their inability to govern?”

St. Joseph County Democrats aren’t buying it.

Meanwhile the Republican National Committee (RNC) is embracing it using it against who they’re calling vulnerable incumbent Democrats in this year’s midterms.

Michael Joyce, Indiana communication director for the RNC has a target on Senator Joe Donnelly.

“[Donnelly] is probably relieved he has an excuse to stay in D.C. – he can continue playing political games rather than meeting with real life Hoosier voters,” he said in a statement to ABC 57 News.

Michael Campbell, Sen. Donnelly’s deputy communications director says Donnelly’s focused on his job.

 “In addition to his effective work in D.C., he travels across the state at every opportunity to meet with and listen to Hoosiers, and this has included visiting all 92 counties each of the last four years,” he said in a statement to ABC 57 News.

So could cutting that travel time short this summer hurt the incumbent?

Democrats here at home don’t think so.

“He spends a considerate amount of time out in the community all across the state of Indiana every year since he’s been elected so I don’t think this will hurt his reelection in the slightest,” said Critchlow.

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