Things are getting testy in the Senate.
Harry Reid (D-NV) delivered an angry, passionate speech on the Senate floor today blasting "sanctimonious" GOP senators for accusing Democrats and Harry Reid of disrespecting Christmas by threatening to keep the Senate in session through the holiday.
“I don’t need to hear the sanctimonious lectures of Sens. Kyl and DeMint to remind me of what Christmas means,” Reid said during a Senate floor speech Wednesday afternoon.
The speech was in response to criticism from GOP Sens. Jon Kyl (AZ) and Jim DeMint (SC). Reid said the blame for an extended session lies with Republicans for filibustering and using "every procedural trick in the book to delay legislation.”
From The Hill:
Kyl suggested Tuesday that Reid would be on the verge of “disrespecting one of the two holiest days for Christians” by pushing the Senate to work on the omnibus spending bill and the New START nuclear treaty right up until Dec. 25.
Reid on Tuesday warned that he may call senators back after Christmas to finish work on legislation, including the Dream Act, which would grant legal residency to the children of illegal immigrants who meet certain conditions.
DeMint said it would be “sacrilegious” to hold votes on the $1.1 trillion spending package and the treaty immediately before Christmas.
Reid responded that Republicans were to blame for extending the session up until Christmas.
“My question, Madam President, is where were their concerns about Christmas as we’ve had filibuster after filibuster on major pieces of legislation during this entire Congress,” said Reid, who accused Republicans of deploying the tactic 87 times.
“These are additional days of wasted time we could be using to pass legislation to get home for the holidays,” Reid added. “Yet some of my Republican colleagues have the nerve to whine about having to stay and actually do the work of the American people.”
Some commenters have brought up a good point: In 2008 House Democrats literally turned the lights off on, and cut the microphones of, GOP members after adjourning in August of that year. The incident was not in the Senate and did not take place just prior to Christmas, but it may be relevant nonetheless.