President Barack Obama phoned both Senate leaders after the chamber passed a year-end spending and tax package. One answered, the other said he'd call him back.
The leaders did not say what the president was phoning about, but the call came right after Congress cleared the bills to keep the government open and extend a series of tax breaks.
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., ducked out of a news conference Friday afternoon to take the call.
"Where's Harry?" Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., asked when it was time for reporters to ask their questions. Informed he was in the hallway on the phone, Schumer said, "Guess who might be calling him: someone who's name begins with an 'O' maybe?," forming an "O" with his hand.
"I don't know I'm just guessing," Schumer added.
When Reid returned, he was asked what the president told him, if that was in fact Obama on the phone. "Merry Christmas," Reid responded.
The president also phoned the top Republican leader, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. But the president called right before McConnell came to his end of the year-end news conference, so he didn't pick up.
"He called a few minutes ago, but I thought it was more important to come talk to you all so I came here first,” McConnell said with a smile. He then added, “I’m going to call him back. We’re not having a spat.”
The president held his own year-end news conference later in the afternoon and wrapped up his opening remarks by thanking Congress for "ending the year on a high note."
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