When Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters last week the Senate would come back for a work period in October, many in and around Capitol Hill took it with a grain of salt. Senators agree on few things more than preserving scheduled time outside of Washington, D.C.—especially in the month before midterm elections.
This week, once senators approved a stopgap government funding package, Schumer backtracked: The next Senate votes will come after the midterms in November. Democratic incumbents and other senators facing tight races likely breathed a sigh of relief; they’ll have more time to spend on the campaign trail.
The scheduling decision means the chamber will face a tighter time frame for passing an annual defense authorization package before the end of the year.
“That agreement will probably happen in November sometime,” Democratic Rep. Adam Smith, who chairs the House Armed Services Committee, told reporters of the National Defense Authorization Act Thursday.