Senate recess shortened, Reid says there’s work to do
Things are really getting serious in the U.S. Congress. Telltale sign: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Wednesday shortened the Columbus Day recess.
“With all the things going on here, it just would not be right for us to take that week off,” Reid announced on the Senate floor. “I apologize to everyone.”
Reid said he expected the full Senate to be able to begin debate on healthcare during that week — the Senate will now be off on Columbus Day, Oct. 12, and the following Friday, but open for business Tuesday through Thursday.
Reid took the action after consultations with Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and as a battle over stalled legislation to revamp the U.S. healthcare system heated up.
If the Senate had taken the full week off, Republicans, no doubt, would have sought to make headlines by accusing Democrats, who control the chamber, of shirking their duties.
And with much of the Senate up for re-election next year, including Reid, Democrats are in no mood to take such hits.
On the other side of the Capitol, perhaps the more political savvy Democratic-led House of Representatives had long planned to work Columbus Day week — taking off just Monday.
Depending on how things go, however, Democratic leaders could decide to give House members Friday off as well — as they often do.
Photo credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque (Senate side of Capitol)