In the five-week stretch leading up to Memorial Day, the Senate will tackle a hefty legislative agenda that includes bills to rein in predatory practices in the housing and credit card industries and a reform of government procurement, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said on Thursday.
Reid also said the Senate will take up a House-passed bill that would impose new regulations on the tobacco industry, calling the measure way, way overdue.
An $83 billion war supplemental bill that will fund military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan is also looming.
As Reid ticked off the ambitious list of Democratic priorities for the stretch, he acknowledged that GOP opposition could be a roadblock.
Indeed, Reid was not able to broker a time agreement with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) Thursday morning to vote on the nominations of Kathleen Sebelius for Health and Human Services secretary, David Hayes for deputy secretary of the Interior Department, and Thomas Strickland for assistant secretary for fish, wildlife and parks at Interior.
Weve already filed cloture on several nominations, which is unusual, Reid said, adding that he was concerned about clearing those three nominations that were held up earlier in the day.
If Reid cannot reach a time agreement with Republicans, he will likely file a procedural motion to move ahead, spokeswoman Regan Lachapelle said.
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.