There is apparently no deal with Harry Reid that doesn’t come with an expiration date, and it usually falls within the first 48 hours.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is warning senators that they could be in session until Thursday as Democrats seek to complete their final work before adjourning for the year.
“We’re going to have to be here until we finish our work,” Reid said on the Senate floor Monday. “That could be Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday.”
On Saturday, Reid filed cloture on 23 of President Obama’s nominees as senators worked into the weekend to approve a $1.1 trillion government funding bill that averted a government shutdown.
That’s a lot of nominations to try to ram through, in addition to the tax break package and the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act. (The latter will probably pass because a failure to do so could wind up canceling the Superbowl.) The tax package could get done or be left till the next session and then retrofitted through some fancy legerdemain of congressional rules.
Having gotten through the filing of cloture motions, it’s hard to say what stops the nominations at this point, including that of Vivek Murthy. The NRA is currently scrambling like mad to get something moving and stop Murthy’s confirmation, but the list of possible remedies to make that happen is rather slim. Some of the Democrats who might have gone along with a vote against confirming Murthy have now lost their races, and as such no longer fear their electorate. There will also probably be a list of weak knees on the GOP side, so just getting to fifty votes wouldn’t be much of a hurdle to overcome.
If there was any way to run out the clock on enough procedural moves, it’s possible that some Senators would start going home, though that’s a pretty distasteful way to do business. And as soon as the herd was split you might see a sufficient number of others heading for the exits as we get closer to Christmas, but that’s hardly a sure thing. Reid may be on his way out of the Majority Leader’s office, but he is clearly trying to empty the arsenal before he goes.