Reid Implores Senate to Act

Posted May 20, 2008 at 11:10am

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) implored his colleagues for cooperation today in order to complete a $194 billion-plus Iraq War supplemental spending bill by Thursday.

Reid said that in addition to the normal disputes surrounding a wartime funding bill, Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) would be leaving by Thursday for his impending nuptials, and that an ailing Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) was not expected to return for crucial votes this week.

“As highly controversial as is this war and this war funding, we’re going to have to work together; otherwise, we’re going to walk away from here this week with nothing done,” Reid said on the floor Tuesday morning. “That, I assume, is one alternative. It’s not one I think that most want.”

Reid added, “Because of long-standing commitments, including the wedding of one of our Members … we’re going to start losing Senators very quickly.”

Reid told Senators that they needed to finish all their work by Thursday or “we’re going to have to worry about what we do in the next month.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) also urged the Senate to complete its work this week, saying, “We must try to do it by Memorial Day. In less than one month, the Defense Department will be unable to make payroll for our uniformed military unless Congress approves the president’s supplemental request.”

McConnell added, “We need to do our duty this week. Our forces in Baghdad and Ramadi will not be taking a week off for a recess.”