Reid threatens around-the-clock votes through Christmas if GOP won't back down

Senate Democrats are threatening Republicans with midnight and crack-of-dawn votes if they continue to fight the majority on the health-care bill and defense spending legislation.

The Senate Democratic leadership office is advising lawmakers, staff and reporters that if the GOP does not yield back time on the defense spending bill now under consideration, a vote will be scheduled for Friday morning at 1 a.m., with final passage slated for 7 a.m. Saturday morning.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid would then begin votes on health care reform, but because Republicans are opposed, the three major components of the bill would first have to be filed with the clerk for a certain number of hours, with the first vote possible on Monday at 1 a.m., the second vote on Tuesday at 7 a.m. and the third and final vote on Wednesday at 1 p.m.

The Senate will then have to take up the $300 billion debt limit increase the House approved days ago. If Republicans do not agree to quick passage of that bill, Reid will call the Senate back into session the week between Christmas and New Year's, which has never happened in recent history.

Senate Republicans are already pledging to put up a fight, with Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., saying he will not consent to any of the legislation and will force Reid to have a Christmas Eve vote on health care reform. DeMint said he will also force Reid to bring the Senate back after Christmas to deal with the debt limit legislation.

“No one besides Harry Reid has even seen the bill,” DeMint spokesman Wesley Denton said. “If Democrats won't read their own bill, they'll be forced to have every page read to them on the Senate floor. Americans have rejected this government takeover of health care, and Republicans will do whatever is possible to stop them from ramming this through before Christmas.”

Democrats say Republicans are simply trying to block passage of the health care bill at any cost.

“They have objected to almost everything we have tried to do thus far and continues their trend of playing politics and obstructing over the needs of the American people,” Reid spokesperson Regan LaChapelle said. “They would rather say no then help unemployed workers, families in need, and sadly even provide funding to our troops.”

Beltway ConfidentialUS

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
City College union deal staves off layoffs, class cuts

One year agreement allows community college time to improve its finances

A Homeless Outreach Team member speaks with homeless people along Jones Street in the Tenderloin on Wednesday, May 6, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Breed proposes another street outreach team to divert calls away from police

San Francisco would launch a new street outreach team to respond to… Continue reading

Rendering of proposed ball park at Howard Terminal (Courtesy photo)
MLB instructs A’s to begin exploring other markets while still pursuing downtown ballpark

Major League Baseball announced Tuesday that it has instructed the Oakland Athletics… Continue reading

San Francisco Giants short stop Mauricio Dubon (1) breaks his bat on a ground out in the 4th inning against the Miami Marlins at Oracle Park on April 22, 2021 in San Francisco, California. (Photography by Chris Victorio | Special to the S.F. Examiner).
Wood, bench power Giants past Rangers

After a bullpen implosion cost Alex Wood a win in his prior… Continue reading

San Fernando, CA, Thursday, April 29, 2021 - California Governor Gavin Newsom waves goodbye to friends after attending a press conference where he signed legislation that will provide a $6.2 billion tax cut to the hardest hit small businesses in the state at Hanzo Sushi restaurant downtown. (Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

Most Read