Senate to recess until Jan. 25

In a maneuver designed to buy time for a compromise on a Democratic proposal to change the Senate's rules by limiting filibusters, Senate Majority Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) ended the Senate's first calendar day on Wednesday night by extending its first legislative day for an indefinite period.

Changes to the rules that govern the Senate require only a simple majority on the first legislative day in which the Senate convenes, and a larger majority after that. Democrats believe that by recessing the Senate, instead of adjourning, it will technically remain the same legislative day until the Senate returns.

In the meantime, Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.), who sponsored the resolution, and members of Democratic Senate leadership, will try to work out a compromise with centrist Republicans and fellow Democrats that will allow them to win a simple majority.