Reid Threatens Weekend Session

Posted November 18, 2010 at 9:19am

Updated: 10:49 a.m.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Thursday threatened to keep colleagues in over the weekend to finish consideration of a food safety bill.

“If we have to use up all the time, waste all the time with these 30-hour provisions that are allowed under the Senate procedures, we’re going to have to be here during the weekend,” the Nevada Democrat warned.

The Senate is slated to adjourn Friday for a weeklong Thanksgiving recess. Reid hopes to clear the food safety bill, and potentially a handful of stalled executive branch nominees, before Members leave town. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) is a leading opponent of the food safety measure, which he charges is not paid for.

“This is something we need to get done. Everyone should understand that,” Reid said on the floor. “There’s nothing to be gained by stalling this.”

A Republican leadership aide criticized Reid for threatening to hold the Senate in over the weekend to consider the food safety bill. The aide said that if Senators are going to stay in session, they should be focusing on jobs legislation.

“Which angry, unemployed voter cast their ballot to send a message that their Representatives should prioritize reorganizing the [Food and Drug Administration] over fixing the economy? Democrats act like Tuesday, Nov. 2 never happened,” the aide said.