WASHINGTON, DC – Harry Reid went on record about the lame duck session schedule, telling The Hill, “we need to stay here until we finish.”
Whether or not “finishing” includes passing the online poker bill remains to be seen. What is clear is that the Reid bill is still on the table and continues to be revised, albeit quietly, as the Senate engages in a multitrillion-dollar left-vs-right holiday battle royale.Â But so far the only thing the bill has attached itself to is what is becoming, as NPR explains, a contentious race against the clock.
The Constitutional deadline for this session of Congress to close its business is noon on January 3rd, 2011.
Yesterday, the Christian Science Monitor published, “Will Harry Reid keep the Senate in session through Christmas?” — revealing that Dems want to max out their time left in the 111th Congress, while the GOP would like this session to be short and sweet.Â Shocker.
On Tuesday, Senate majority leader Harry Reid laid out an ambitious three weeks, potentially keeping senators in Washington through the holidays and calling votes on controversial issues ranging from the START nuclear arms pact to the immigration reform DREAM Act. Republican leaders, by contrast, offered a more modest agenda: pass the tax-cut deal, pass short-term funding for the government to avoid a shutdown, and go home. [Emphasis added.]
But just hours ago The Hill reported that Reid and crew could finish up earlier – say next week:
“Majority Leader Harry Reid on Wednesday announced that the Senate would remain in session through Sunday and that he hopes to wrap up the chamberâ€™s work by the middle of next week.”
Not sure what Reid is *really* trying to say here, but surely the Democratic party is even more on edge about their clout in the 112th Congress, with Republicans not only assuming Committee leadership roles, but also cutting panels in away that stands to hack away at Democratic influence.
With so much on the table to contend with, and both parties aware this could well be the Democrats’ last-best shot for passing all variety of bills they want to see signed into law for at least two years, it seems a new delay tactic now could be simply arguing over how long Congress should stay in Washington DC. Seems doubtful that the two parties reach some consensus on finishing up in time for Barack Obama to avoid ticket-change fees on his trip to Hawaii.