Senate Leaders Tell Members to Stay On Call

Posted October 1, 2008 at 11:37am

Senate Democratic and Republican leaders have instructed their rank and file to remain on call throughout the rest of the week, even as they prepare to clear the chamber’s calendar of any outstanding legislation late Wednesday night.

The move ensures the Senate is ready to respond if the House fails to adopt its version of a $700 billion financial rescue plan, which the Senate is prepared to consider and approve by day’s end. The bailout vote has been viewed as the Senate’s last major charge this year, although Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has said he intends to keep the chamber operating in pro forma, or nonvoting, sessions to allow lawmakers to return to work if necessary.

“No one is taking anything for granted,” a senior Democratic Senate aide said. “Until our work is finished, Senators should not assume our work is done.”

The House won’t hold votes until at least 5 p.m. on Thursday. Lawmakers will return at noon Thursday for legislative business, according to an alert issued Wednesday by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.).