Reid also told reporters that he would soon file a procedural motion to bring up the defense authorization bill, which includes language to repeal the military’s ban on openly gay service members. That language has tripped up progress on the overall bill, which in most years enjoys broad bipartisan support. More than a dozen Senators, led by Sen. Joe Lieberman (ID-Conn.), called for the “don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal and appealed to both Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Thursday to schedule ample debate time on the floor.
But a host of issues remain, and none appear to be resolved after the Senate’s first week back on Capitol Hill following the historic midterm elections. Reid has promised a vote on an immigration measure that would give children who are illegal immigrants a path to citizenship if they go to college or join the military. He will also have to work out an agreement with the House on either a continuing resolution or omnibus spending bill to keep the government funded.
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.