Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Monday he expects the chamber to reconvene Dec. 26 — the day after Christmas — to wrap its work for the year, which could include a deal on the fiscal cliff and a supplemental disaster relief bill.
“It appears that we’re going to be coming back the day after Christmas to complete work on the fiscal cliff and a few other leftover items,” the Nevada Democrat said in his opening remarks on the Senate floor.
Though the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day might be spoiled for overworked staffers, the likely session is the strongest indicator yet that top congressional negotiators have hope for agreement. Budget talks had appeared to be at a complete impasse as recently as a week ago.
Reid also used his opening remarks to talk about the importance of community in the wake of the massive shootings Dec. 14 at Sandy Hook Elementary School and the subsequent need to pass legislation that would assist cities and states devastated by last month’s Superstorm Sandy and the reauthorization of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
“I hope my colleagues will join in moving quickly to send aid to those affected by Sandy as they continue to recover and rebuild,” Reid said. “The Senate must move swiftly to approve supplemental disaster aid and give the intelligence community the tools it needs to keep our nation safe before this Christmas holiday.”
Lois Lerner, director of exempt organizations for the IRS, arrives for a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on the investigation of the IRS' targeting of political groups. Lerner invoked her Fifth Amendment right to not testify and caused a protest from some committee members when she offered an opening statement and engaged in dialogue with members before invoking the right.
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