Harry Reid Calls Off Votes To Prevent Scott Brown From Ditching Debate With Elizabeth Warren

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid interrupted proceedings on the Senate floor to announce there would be no more votes Thursday afternoon, delaying action on pressing issues like funding the government.

Why? Because he thinks Republicans were fixing the schedule to allow Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) to use evening votes as an excuse to get out of a debate with Elizabeth Warren.“Madam president, I’m so sorry. We have no more votes today,” Reid said. “No more votes today. It’s obvious to me what’s going on. I’ve been to a few of these rodeos. It is obvious there is a big stall taking place. One of the senators who doesn’t want to debate tonight won’t be in a debate. While he can’t use the Senate as an excuse, there will be no more votes today.”

Reid’s maneuver came moments after the Boston Globe quoted Brown saying he’d skip the debates if called on for Senate business. His move came as a surprise to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell who appeared on the floor shortly after Reid to request evening votes proceed as scheduled. Reid objected.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brian Beutler is TPM’s senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he’s led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at brian@talkingpointsmemo.com

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