Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid threatened to keep the Senate in session after Christmas, all the way up to the beginning of next Congress if the GOP doesn’t get out of the way and allow votes on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal, the START treaty and other key Democratic initiatives.
“There’s still Congress after Christmas. So if the Republicans think that because they can stall and stall and stall that we take a break we’re through — we’re not through,” Reid said. Congress ends on January 4.”
That sets up a complicated and grueling schedule for the next two to three weeks, particularly if Republicans insist on using procedural maneuvers to keep the clock running. Currently the Senate is draining up to 30 hours of floor time because of GOP objections to holding an immediate vote on the tax bill, which is likely to nonetheless pass with overwhelming support.Once it does pass, Reid plans to take up the START treaty, but will likely have to skip back and forth between the treaty and the omnibus legislation to fund the government, which must pass this Saturday to keep the lights on in federal agencies.
And then there’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal, which is expected to pass the House later this week and land quickly on the Senate floor.
The threat is meant to convince Republicans to ease up on the delays, but without the credible threat of long hours and holiday work, DADT would likely be dead. Looks like another busy holiday in the Senate.