Reid: No Columbus Day Recess

Posted September 30, 2009 at 9:51am

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced Wednesday that the chamber will not take a recess next month in order to plow through a heavy legislative agenda that includes passing a host of appropriations bills and perhaps health care reform.

“With all the things going on here, it just would not be right for us to take that week off,— Reid said on the Senate floor.

The Senate typically reserves the week of Columbus Day for a weeklong October recess. But Reid predicted Wednesday that a health care reform bill will be ready for floor consideration by then, so the Senate will need to stay in town.

“I apologize to everyone for not being able to have that whole week off, but I think with health care, which is really beginning to ferment, it wouldn’t be right for us to be gone that week,— Reid said. “I think we should be able to start our health care work that week here on the Senate floor.—

The Senate will observe Columbus Day itself — Monday, Oct. 12 — but convene Tuesday for evening votes. The chamber will work through the week but will not be in session that Friday.

Without an October recess, the Senate will be in a total of 11 weeks from the beginning of this work period until Thanksgiving, Reid pointed out.

“That’s a long time when a number of us have families at home and work we want to try to do during the week rather than just on weekends,— Reid said. “So I apologize to everyone.—