Reid Calls Rare ‘Live Quorum’ in Senate

Posted March 25, 2010 at 5:31pm

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) late Thursday afternoon called a rare “live quorum” in the Senate chamber in an effort to break an impasse over a one-month extension to unemployment insurance benefits.

Reid called the live quorum call – during which the Sergeant-at-Arms is authorized to request that Members come to the chamber – following more than an hour of unsuccessful negotiations on the Senate floor with Republicans and Democrats.

Reid spokesman Jim Manley said the quorum call is “an attempt to bring all the Members of the Senate together to try and figure out how to proceed” on unemployment insurance, adding that “the question is whether we’re going to work through the weekend or if we can work something out” Thursday night.

Once all of the Members are on the floor, Reid will “start a colloquy and see where things go,” Manley said.

Earlier in the day, Reid beat back an effort by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) to force a vote on a fully paid-for version of the unemployment insurance extension. While the current bill is not fully offset, Republicans and some Democrats believe it should include at least some level of funding.