Time is not on the Democrats’ side.

In a brief interview, Schumer declined to comment on the possibility of canceling some of the traditional August holidays. He said Democrats are “trying to do the best we can. It’s tough with Covid and everything. We’re going to get the job done.”

In the long run, Senate Democrats have to return to D.C. for six more weeks before the midterms. Two of those weeks are in mid-October and could throw off the calendar to give incoming candidates more time to campaign, a growing priority as the party clings to its majority. That means Democrats may have some tough choices ahead of them with the limited amount of floor time they have left.

Sen Martin Henrik (DN.M) said Monday that his party’s “first order of business, I think, is to pass legislation,” noting that if Democrats can retain the Senate this fall, he could be president next year. Joe Biden can confirm nominees, regardless of which party may hold the presidency. Home

“We’ve got to focus on the big things, the big building blocks. And the things that are bipartisan and can get 60 votes,” said Heinrich, who still hopes that Democrats will push through on climate change in the coming weeks. Will find a way to cope.

Democrats’ list of legislative goals is much longer than their immediate health care agenda and must pass tasks like defunding the outgoing government by Sept. 30. Depending on which Democrat you ask, they may be hoping to change the Electoral Count Act to avoid another January. 6, passing antitrust legislation, lowering the price of insulin, banning stock trading by members of Congress, legalizing marijuana, same-sex marriage and contraception or Fill up 77 existing judicial vacancies..

There’s no guarantee he’ll get another shot at any of those priorities next year, with Republicans threatening Democratic control in both chambers. Sen Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) said Schumer has “publicly” indicated his antitrust legislation, aimed at reining in the market dominance of big tech companies, for a floor vote this summer. will come.

“I’ve been making speeches and pushing it and Sen. Schumer said he’s going to get the vote. And I hope it happens as soon as possible. Nobody wants more votes than me,” Klobuchar said.

By some measures, the 18 months of a 50-50 Senate were productive: They a $1.9 trillion party-line coronavirus packagePostal reform, bipartisan laws on access to firearms and infrastructure and confirmed a new Supreme Court justice and a host of other nominees.

Still, Democrats spent many of those months talking about doing more. much more.

This year, Democrats have already scaled back their ambitions sharply after failing to change filibuster rules to enact election reform and the massive trillion-dollar-plus payback Better Bill prescription drug and Obamacare subsidy bills. Became. Now, with the Senate in session about 13 weeks into the rest of the year, Democrats are balancing how much their slim majority can do with campaign season in battleground states in D.C. .

At this point, the health care law looks like it will pass, though whether or not it could happen as soon as next week is uncertain. Democrats still have a few hurdles to make to ensure the bill can pass the Senate with a simple majority — they must first clear it from House lawmakers and then get enough Democrats in town to pass it. Required. And it’s not certain the way the coronavirus is knocking senators down on a daily basis.

“I think they’ll have the votes to pass something,” the Senate minority whip said. John Thune (RS.D.) But, he added, “do they have a full attendance? Because it’s taking; they’ve got to go through the vote-a-ram and get everybody here.”

The Senate is also going to have its own DC. The House is reluctant to wrap up its work this week, with leadership warning that votes could go as late as Friday evening. The House is expected to pass the microchip legislation by Friday, once it passes the Senate.

Leadership is still mulling further votes on gun safety measures that will stall in the Senate.

The House is expected to adjourn Friday to begin its extended August recess, and return briefly to pass a health care bill if Democrats finalize a deal with Sen. will Joe Manchin (DW.Va.) Mnuchin is out with Covid this week and has largely agreed to vote to extend Obamacare subsidies for two years and lower prescription drug prices. He rejected a major deal this summer that would have pumped money into climate change and raised taxes on the wealthy and corporations.

A White House staffer told House Democratic chiefs of staff during a meeting Monday that Biden would take executive action on climate change, but did not provide specific details on what those actions would be, according to attendees.

Jordan Carney contributed to this report.