Reid issues his weekend threat
© Lauren Schneiderman

Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidChris Murphy’s profile rises with gun tragedies Republicans are headed for a disappointing end to their year in power Obama's HHS secretary could testify in Menendez trial MORE (D-Nev.) offered a familiar threat on Monday, saying the Senate might have to work this weekend or shorten an upcoming April recess if it doesn't complete more work soon.

The threats from Reid about weekend work are common, and are joked about on Capitol Hill. 

The Senate usually completes its weekly business by Thursday afternoon, allowing senators to head to their states by Thursday night or Friday. 

Over the next two weeks, Reid says he wants the Senate to consider a Ukraine aid package; an extension of federal unemployment benefits; legislation to hike the minimum wage; and the “doc fix” bill that would prevent a scheduled cut to physicians for Medicare.

“We have so much to do this work period and so much to do this week, we may have to be in this weekend if we’re forced to go through all the procedural hoops,” Reid said Monday on the Senate floor. “We’re going to be in this weekend, there’s no way around it.

“The only alternative is to take away a week of the break we have scheduled.”

The Senate is scheduled to be out the weeks of April 14 and April 21.

Later Monday, the Senate will take the first procedural vote on whether to proceed to a Ukraine aid bill that includes sanctions against Russians who invaded the Crimea peninsula.

Also, senators have only until March 31 before there are cuts to the Medicare physician reimbursement rate. Medicare physicians will see a 24 percent cut to their payments on April 1 unless Congress acts.