Reid warns of daunting workweek ahead

“We have the balanced budget amendments,” he continued. “We have payroll tax. We have unemployment insurance, Medicare reimbursement, tax extenders and we have …the SGR or the Doctors Fix.  All of these matters are set to expire at the end of the year."

The Senate is scheduled to recess for the holiday at the end of next week but considering the quantity of unfinished business that seems less and less likely.  

Partisan bickering this year has prevented the upper chamber from moving quickly on almost any issue.  This week, for example, Senate’s only accomplishments were the approval of a few noncontroversial judicial nominees.

Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) also warned on Thursday that Democratic leadership did not intend to release the chamber until they had agreed upon the renewal the payroll tax cuts.

"What the president has said is ‘roll out your Christmas trees and blankets here in the Senate because you are going to stay here even through the holiday if necessary,'" said Durbin, channeling Obama on Thursday afternoon. "We are not going to go home to celebrate until we can celebrate with American families."



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