Reid Sketches Out Weekend Agenda
Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) opened the Senate Saturday morning by serving notice that a rare Sunday session was possible and suggesting that negotiations on a financial sector bailout will be complete by Sunday night. The first order of business, Reid said, would be a cloture vote on a continuing resolution at 10 a.m. Reid said he would extend the usual 15-minute time limit for the vote because a bicycle event was causing serious disruptions in the streets around the Capitol. Reid also said that without a breakthrough in talks with Senate Republicans, he would file for cloture on the defense authorization bill later today, setting up a Monday vote. Reid said staff worked on the bailout measure until 3 this morning; according to sources, the principal House, Senate and White House negotiators will meet sometime this afternoon. Reid said that if there is an agreement on the bailout, the House could vote on it Monday while the Senate would vote “sometime thereafter.” He said staff made significant progress through night and that about 15 issues remain unresolved. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) has threatened to force her colleagues to come back in for a Sunday vote on the CR if she does not get funding for farmers in her state. She wants $1.12 billion for farmlands that have been devastated by hurricanes Ike and Gustav and other natural disasters.