Tuesday, May 19, 2015

McConnell: Senate will vote this week on trade, other bills

(AP) — Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is vowing to postpone the Senate's scheduled Memorial Day recess until lawmakers pass a trade bill that President Barack Obama wants, vote on renewing the Patriot Act and keep highway construction funds flowing.

Both the Patriot Act and contracting authority for federal highway funds expire on June 1. The trade bill is a top priority for Obama.

All three bills are contentious, and the Kentucky Republican on Monday challenged Democrats to cooperate.

He'll need cooperation on his side of the aisle, as well. Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky has said he will try and block renewal of the Patriot Act, which passed in the wake of the terror attacks of 2001.

The Memorial Day break is scheduled to begin at week's end.