Reid cancels Senate’s weekend session

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) canceled all weekend work for the Senate on Friday, saying it is no longer necessary.

"It looked earlier this week like the Senate would have to originate legislation perhaps as soon as today to avoid default,” he said. "Circumstances have changed. The Speaker of the House and the president have been working to reach agreement on a major deficit-reduction measure.”

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Reid said that constitutionally, any such measure would have to originate in the House anyway, so there is little the Senate can do on its own.

“I understand … under the Constitution … the House of Representatives must originate all revenue items,” said Reid. “Therefore, the path to avert default now runs first to the House of Representatives.

“That's what the Constitution demands,” he added. “We in the Senate must wait for them.”

Reid has often used the threat of weekend sessions to spur the Senate into passing legislation but then not followed through on the threat.

Earlier in the week, however, Reid scheduled work on Saturday and Sunday and harshly criticized Republican leadership in the House for planning a recess. 

“I think it is just untoward,” Reid said, referring to the planned recess in the House. “That’s the kindest word I can say. … What a bad picture.”

But Reid's shift did not go unnoticed by Senate Republicans.

Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.), for example, said Reid had left members confused. 

"Senators were told we're going to be here every day, we'll be here on Saturday, and now he says we can go home,” said Coats. 

“What kind of leadership is that?”

Reid said the Senate's next vote will occur Monday evening.