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Opinion: McConnell makes right call to shorten Senate's August recess

FILE - In this June 30, 2017 file photo, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, of Kentucky, speaks in Elizabethtown, Ky. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley, File)

EDITOR'S NOTE: Boris Epshteyn formerly served as a Senior Advisor to the Trump Campaign and served in the White House as Special Assistant to The President and Assistant Communications Director for Surrogate Operations.

WASHINGTON (Sinclair Broadcast Group) - The Senate is cutting its summer recess time short this year. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that they are going to push back their August break by two weeks in order to work on health care reform and other pressing issues.

This is absolutely the right call. After all, they do have just a little bit of work to do.

A health care bill, tax reform, funding the government and raising the debt ceiling are all on the agenda.

On health care reform, the most recent break not only slowed down the process, but set the GOP senators back in terms of agreeing on a bill.

You may be wondering why Congress gets a vacation in August at all? Let’s take a look at the history.

There was a time when being a member of Congress or Senator was not a full-time job. That changed in the 1950’s and Congress worked year-round with little time off.

In 1970, Congress made the August recess official to allow time for members to meet with constituents and be with their families.

Now, times -- and the Congressional calendar-- have changed. Congress has many breaks throughout the year besides the August recess. According to this year’s schedule, the Senate has nine additional weeks away and the House of Representatives has 12.

There is definitely value in lawmakers being away from D.C. to work with their constituents, travel in congressional delegations, campaign and of course, spend time with their families.

Congress has so much on the table that directly impacts the well being of all Americans. These officials are elected to pass legislation, that is their job. Shortening the recess is a step in the right direction.

Having said that, it’s not just about spending more time in D.C., its about achieving actual results for the American people.

If those results are not achieved, members should stay in D.C. as long as it takes to get things done. Even if that wipes out the rest of the August break. And that’s the bottom line.

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