Skip Navigation

Close and don't show again.

Your browser is out of date.

You may not get the full experience here on National Journal.

Please upgrade your browser to any of the following supported browsers:

Why Working Monday Through Friday Is a Tall Order in the Senate Why Working Monday Through Friday Is a Tall Order in the Senate

This ad will end in seconds
 
Close X

Not a member? Learn More »

Forget Your Password?

Don't have an account? Register »

Reveal Navigation
 

 

Congress

Why Working Monday Through Friday Is a Tall Order in the Senate

(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Majority Leader Harry Reid started the week with modest plans for the Senate: work Monday through Friday. Sounds straightforward enough, but the schedule got derailed along the way. And the Senate checked out Friday.

Here's what happened. On Monday, Reid previewed the four-week session ahead of Thanksgiving, saying the Senate would tackle a number of nominations, the Employee Non-Discrimination Act, and drug-compounding legislation.

Sounding a bit like a school teacher warning class that so many lessons need to be completed before the test, Reid said senators have to get used to working Mondays and Fridays.

 

"If we are going to finish our work in this 4-week period, that means we are going to have to work on Mondays and Fridays. I hope we don't have to work weekends, but we have to get this work done," Reid said.

To show how serious he was about the workload, Reid scheduled a vote for Monday.

But it was not to be. With five senators absent, Reid said, on Monday the vote to confirm Richard Griffin as general counsel to the National Labor Relations Board was pushed to Tuesday.

And work on Friday? No.

Reid's office said Republican interference explains not being in session on Friday. Instead of debating the non-discrimination bill Friday, Reid was forced to file cloture because of Republican opposition, spokesman Adam Jentleson said. Before the procedural vote can occur, Senate rules require an intervening day—in this case, Friday—unless both sides agree to waive it.

Senate Republicans rebutted that account, saying both sides agreed to hold the cloture vote Monday, according to Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's spokesman, Michael Brumas.

The Senate is out until 2 p.m. Monday, with votes on judicial nominations expected at 5:30 p.m. If Reid's admonitions go heeded, the vote next week will go ahead.

"It is obvious Senators aren't making these Monday votes a priority," Reid said Monday. "We have a lot of people not showing up. … I think we have become very complacent and not worrying about the Monday night votes."

Still, the Senate had eight roll call votes this week, two of those to confirm administration nominees. Next week votes are expected on other nominations as well as on the non-discrimination act.

The Nevada Democrat also eagerly and regularly points out the House's working schedule, especially when it consists of fewer days in session than the Senate's.

"I have enough trouble with my schedule, but I just have to briefly

comment on the House schedule," Reid said earlier this week. "They are going to work until noon on Wednesday and then they are taking off the next 10 days. From now until the first of the year, they have scheduled 18 working days. That is all I will say on that."

Job Board
Search Jobs
Biomedical Service Internship Position
American Society of Civil Engineers | Flint, MI
Fire Sprinkler Inspector
American Society of Civil Engineers | Charlotte, NC
Professional Development Program Engineer
American Society of Civil Engineers | Farmington Hills, MI
Deputy Director of Transit Operations
American Society of Civil Engineers | San Jose, CA
Transportation Planner
American Society of Civil Engineers | Salinas, CA
Assistant Professor - Water Resources/Ecological Engineering
American Society of Civil Engineers | Auburn, AL
Product Manager - Chemical Development and Supply - Tulsa, OK
American Society of Civil Engineers | Tulsa, OK
Commissioning Intern
American Society of Civil Engineers | Chicago, IL
Assessment and Remediation Team Lead
American Society of Civil Engineers | Regina, SK
Business Development Manager
American Society of Civil Engineers
Sr. Controls Systems Engineer
American Society of Civil Engineers | Grand Island, NE
Senior Project Manager- Transportation
American Society of Civil Engineers | San Antonio, TX
Materials Engineer 2
American Society of Civil Engineers | IL
Land Surveyor
American Society of Civil Engineers
Quality Engineer
American Society of Civil Engineers | Attica, IN
 
Comments
comments powered by Disqus