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Harry Reid Has Backtracked on a Bold Promise From Earlier This Year


"There will be no weekends off."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev. arrives to speak with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014, before joining other congressional leaders at the White House for a meeting with President Barack Obama. In advance of the crucial midterm elections, Reid has been criticizing special interest campaign spending as being undemocratic, with a special focus on the billionaire Koch brothers who have contributed large sums to conservative groups that are spending millions against Democratic senators. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is the boy who cried wolf of the Senate.

On Thursday, Reid gave the Senate a nice, easy three-day weekend, even though he threatened in late July to keep the Senate working around the clock and through the weekends in September.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) warned in July that the Senate would work the first two weekends back in September. But Thursday, he let the Senate go for a three-day weekend. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Reid is known for routinely threatening work on the weekend — and threatening work on Friday, a day the Senate almost never works — but almost no one takes these threats seriously. This time, however, Reid's warning was very specific.

"We have a lot of work to do," Reid warned senators July 31, just before the Senate left for a five-week break. "So everyone needs to know that when we come back on September 8, there will be no weekends off."

"There are only two weeks until we go home, and everyone should not plan things on these weekends. So no one can say: You need to give us notice," he warned again. "You have been given notice."

Reid said Democratic chairmen of various Senate committees agreed with him that the Senate needs to work both the weekend of September 13-14, and September 20-21.

"So again, Saturday, September 13; Sunday, September 14; Saturday, September 20; Sunday, September 21, we need to be here, including the Fridays that precede those dates that I gave," Reid warned. "Every day between September 8 and September 30 is fair game. Friday, Saturday, Sunday, we need to be here."

But by Thursday afternoon, all those threats had evaporated, and Reid adjourned the Senate until Monday afternoon, basically giving senators a three-and-a-half day weekend.

"I ask unanimous consent that when the Senate completes its business today, it adjourn until 2 p.m. on Monday, September 15, 2014," Reid said Thursday at around 4 p.m. Then most of the senators flew home.

In July, Reid listed things like government funding, extending the Internet Tax Freedom Act, the minimum wage, and student debt as reasons why the Senate would be working so hard.

But this week, the Senate did little to indicate there was any emergency. The Senate spent most of its time debating a Democratic proposal to amend the Constitution so Congress can regulate political speech. The idea was doomed from the start due to GOP opposition, and after several days of debate, Republicans killed the controversial idea.

H/T: The Hill

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