Reid: Senate will return to work next week

Reid said he wants to complete work on at least three things before adjourning for Christmas for a few days.

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The Senate started consideration this week of H.R. 1 as a vehicle to provide $60.4 billion to Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts, but some conservatives have said the bill has unrelated and unnecessary spending measures, during a time when lawmakers are trying to make spending cuts. The Senate is expected to continue work on amendments to this package Thursday.

Reid said no matter what, he’d file cloture on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act reauthorization bill by the end of Thursday, even if he and the Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) don’t reach an agreement.

He also said he wants to vote on the conference package for the Defense authorization bill after the House passes it Thursday.

President Obama and Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) have been working on a deficit reduction deal to avoid the fiscal cliff, when the Bush-era tax rates expire and sequestration takes effect next year. The House is voting on Boehner's "Plan B" today, which Democrats have said is unacceptable.