Senate Leaders Pondering Possible Session Next Week

Posted June 29, 2011 at 1:27pm

Senate Democrats are discussing whether to come in for a day or two next week lest it look like they are away on vacation for July Fourth in the middle of a crisis over raising the federal debt ceiling.

Even before President Barack Obama on Wednesday warned Members to cancel their vacations if they can’t reach a debt deal, Democrats talked among themselves at their weekly luncheon Tuesday about the wisdom of going home next week, according to an aide. Some Senators believe sticking around next week doesn’t make sense, given that the deal will be cut by leaders who could stay in town. But others are worried about the signal it might send to voters.

At any rate, a decision will have to be made quickly to give Senators and staff time to adjust their schedules.

Senate Republicans are also agitating for the chamber to stay in town. Budget ranking member Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) took to the floor Wednesday to urge the Senate to stay in session next week to solve the debt and deficit crises facing the country.

“On the floor, we spend week after week on bills that have little or nothing to do with our economic danger. We name post offices and courthouses but ignore the gathering fiscal storm,” Sessions said in prepared remarks. “And now the Senate is scheduled to take next week off — to go into recess — to celebrate the Fourth of July.”