Democratic lawmaker blasts Pelosi's House recess as 'absurd'

Rep. Ro Khanna said House lawmakers should still be working

Rep. Ro Khanna, a California Democrat, called the House's planned monthlong recess "absurd" and urged Congress to continue working on coronavirus relief legislation.

Khanna, a progressive, said he's remained in Washington advocating for a deal between Congress and the White House.

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"I think Congress should be in session," Khanna said Tuesday during a Facebook town hall with his constituents. "I think it's absurd for Congress to be going on a break during a pandemic and a national crisis."

Democratic U.S. Rep. Ro Khanna speaks at a climate rally with presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders and Rep. Rashida Tlaib in Iowa City, Iowa, U.S. January 12, 2020. REUTERS/Scott Morgan - RC2LEE9GVZ01

Democratic U.S. Rep. Ro Khanna speaks at a climate rally with presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders and Rep. Rashida Tlaib in Iowa City, Iowa, U.S. January 12, 2020. REUTERS/Scott Morgan - RC2LEE9GVZ01

The last time the House took votes was Friday, July 31. No votes are expected in the House until the week of Sept. 14 unless both parties can reach a deal on a coronavirus stimulus package.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., had been in talks with the White House in recent weeks over a stimulus deal, but they are still not close on finding common ground. Democrats had wanted at least $3 trillion in aid, while the GOP pitched a $1 trillion plan.

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Typically, the House and Senate go on recess during the month of August. But with the pandemic raging, a devastating economic crisis and racial unrest simmering, Khanna said he's concerned that Congress is on the sidelines.

"I don't think this is a smart move to recess and I agree with you," Khanna said in response to a constituent's question. "I share your frustration."

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