Harry Reid Threatens To Make Senate Work On Christmas Eve

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) threatened to keep the chamber working through Christmas Eve if Republicans didn’t allow swift approval of the budget bill, defense authorization act and several presidential nominees.

“Christmas is one week from Wednesday. We have a lot to do. We could complete all of our work by Thursday. By Friday, by Saturday, by Sunday, by Monday, or Tuesday,” he said Monday. “But finish it we must. I’ve lined out what we need to do, and it’s up to the minority to determine what if anything they’re going to stop us from doing.”

Tuesday is Christmas Eve.

Reid said he intended to bring up the budget bill on Tuesday and defense bill on Wednesday. After that, he said, a number of nominees would have to be confirmed before the Senate adjourns for recess — including Janet Yellen to chair the Fed, Jeh Johnson to lead the Department of Homeland Security and Robert Wilkins to be a judge on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Republicans appear to lack the votes to scuttle any of the bills or nominees, but individual senators can use procedural objections to slow them down and seek more debate time.

Without cooperation, Reid said, the Senate faces a “daunting” vote schedule this week.


Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.