That’s Harry Reid, talking about votes expected in the remainder of the lame duck session. He cited START, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, the DREAM Act, the 9-11 health care bill and possibly votes on judicial nominations if an agreement wasn’t reached to move them in a block. As for when, he simply committed to votes on those issues “before this Congress ends,” not before Christmas.
The fear is that Senators will basically lose interest and not show up for work after Christmas, increasing the odds that nothing gets done on votes between than and January 4, the technical last day of the 111th Congress. Reid did commit to lengthening the session, saying, “We are in session, if necessary, up to January 5th. That is the clock our Republican colleagues need to run out. It’s a long clock.”
Now, I’m not necessarily concerned about any Democratic Senators staying home for Christmas. That’s the job of the Majority Leader, if he thinks he has the votes, to get them out. But this is definitely a move I can see Lisa Murkowski pulling, especially if repealing DADT or the other items on the calendar are not that much of a priority for her, even if she supports any individual one.
There’s a renewed lobbying effort on the Hill, at least on DADT repeal. Supporters now have 50 co-sponsors for the standalone legislation, and appear to have over 60 votes in hand.