Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) took to the Senate floor on Thursday to mock the Senate's sparse achievements during the week usually reserved for the Independence Day recess.
In a colloquy with Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) on the Senate floor, he asked if it was her view that the Senate had been "terribly overworked" this week.
McCain added that he would have a hard time explaining to his constituents back in Arizona what the Senate had been up to. His remarks reflected those of President Obama, who at a press conference last week chided Congress about its work schedule.
In response, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) canceled the Fourth of July recess for the first time in decades and directed the Senate to hold two votes, neither of which involved creating actual legislation.
The first vote commanded the Senate's sergeant at arms to request the presence of all senators. That vote replaced another scheduled vote on a resolution McCain had offered that would have authorized U.S. military involvement in Libya. Republicans objected to holding a vote on any measure that didn't have to do with the debt talks, arguing Reid had canceled the recess in order to deal with that issue.
The second vote, which took place on Thursday, allowed the Senate to begin debate on bill that would recommend that people earning $1 million or more pay more in taxes.
Just before McCain's remarks, Reid announced the Senate would hold no more votes this week.