House Could Return to Session Next Week, Cutting Recess Short

UPDATE (4:00pm ET) House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., announced she would call the House back into session to try to pass the Senate state aid bill.

"As millions of children prepare to go back to school - many in just a few days -- the House will act quickly to approve this legislation once the Senate votes. In consultation with our leadership, I am calling Members of the House back to Washington at the beginning of the week to pass this bill and send it to President Obama without further delay," Pelosi said in a statement.


There's nothing like getting your summer vacation cut short.

The House of Representatives was poised to take a six-week recess through August and part of September.

Until the Senate broke a Republican-backed filibuster to clear passage for a $26 billion state aid bill to help avert the layoffs of 140,000 teachers.

So, that means the House, which abandoned Washington last Friday, is now positioned to interrupt the recess to come back and sign off on what the Senate is expected to approve later this week.

"This is happening," said a senior House Democratic aide when asked whether the House will return to session.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., threw down the gauntlet to the House after his side broke the GOP-filibuster after weeks of impasse.

"It is going to be very difficult for the House to be out for five weeks," said Reid.

Speculation on the House side is that Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., will summon lawmakers back to Washington next week. But this scenario poses some logistical hurdles.

House members are spread all over the country and the world. Getting them all back to Washington is an operational nightmare. Still, one senior Democratic aide conceded that it would be a "politically good move" to lug lawmakers back to approve the state rescue package.

But, the scenario is fraught with potential danger.

"Any time you bring Members back to do one thing, you run the risk of other things popping up," warned one senior source.

Meantime, Republicans quickly moved to paint a special August session in the worst possible light.

"It doesn't seem likely that House Democratic leaders are going to convince their members to come back to Washington to pass even more ‘stimulus' spending," said Michael Steel, spokesman for House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio.

Recalling lawmakers to Washington from lengthy Congressional recesses is rare but not unheard of. On Palm Sunday, 2005, then-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, gaveled the House back into session for a midnight session to rebuff a Florida judge who ruled that doctors could remove Terri Schiavo from life support. Schiavo was comatose and had been in a vegetative state for years.

Later that summer, Congress reconvened to free up emergency funds to help the Gulf Coast recover from Hurricane Katrina.

Fox News' Trish Turner contributed to this report.