Republicans are "more than happy" to work around-the-clock and through the holidays to stop healthcare legislation, Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) asserted Monday evening.

After a key Senate chairman, Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), said Monday that Democrats would force Republicans to work overnights and weekends throughout December if they stall the health debate, Thune, the Senate's fourth-ranking Republican, said the GOP is more than willing to meet the challenge.

"I guess what I would say is, fine, we'll be here," Thune said Monday evening during an appearance on the Fox Business Network. "If it means stopping this monstrosity, this $3 trillion expansion of the federal government, Republicans are more than happy to stay here if that's what it takes to stop this thing."


Thune said that Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) was seeking to use the Christmas recess as a "backstop" in the health debate by which he'd seek to push a health bill through, but Thune vowed that Senate Republicans would work their hardest to stop efforts.

Republicans have sought to drag out debate over the health bill -- a maneuver Democrats decry as a stall tactic -- and will offer scores of amendments to the legilslation once the debate's begun.

Thune predicted that Reid would still push forward with the bill, though the chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee argued that a weekend report on the Hosue bill from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) would make such a push more difficult.

"It undermines the entire premise for doing this, which is to lower the cost of healthcare," he said. "I think it's going to complicate passage in the Senate, but it's not going to stop them from trying to rush this thing through."