The holdup also created more uncertainty as to how Congress will finish its work as the year comes to a close. Senate Democrats on Tuesday discussed bringing the House GOP's extenders bill up for a vote in short order to show it could not pass the Senate. Doing so would enable the principals to begin negotiations on "the real endgame," according to an aide.
Others still talked of moving on another temporary continuing resolution to avoid a shutdown in case Democrats stood their ground. House Republican leadership aides, though, indicated they were not yet working on such a backup plan.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.