The Senate won't be headed home at the end of July as originally scheduled. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday announced that the August recess would be shortened by two weeks and begin Aug. 14, giving senators an extra two weeks to get through high-priority agenda items like its ObamaCare replacement. The AP quotes McConnell as saying that once the Senate "completes its work on health care reform," it would move on to passing the annual defense policy bill and tackle "the backlog of critical nominations that have been mindlessly stalled by Democrats."
It's possible the Senate could begin its typically five-week recess earlier, but Politico somewhat ominously reports there are "roughly 30 nominations currently idling on the executive calendar, and canceling the first two weeks of August would still not be enough to clear that backlog unless Democrats cooperate." And the Hill notes that another series of deadlines loom, with a new funding bill required by Oct. 1; the debt ceiling needs to be raised around the same time. (Read more Senate stories.)