The Senate's scheduled session Sunday will come against the advice of Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), who believes it violates the Ten Commandments rule against work on the Sabbath day.

In October, 2004, Byrd gave a fiery floor speech condemning Senate business on Sundays -- the chamber was debating a jobs-creation bill at the time -- that reminded senators of the commandment to "Remember the Sabbath Day and keep it holy."

"I think we are setting a bad example," Byrd said. "I don't think we are showing proper respect to Christians in our country, and all over the world, for that matter, by publicly failing to observe that Commandment, that we keep the Sabbath Day holy and remember it. I want to say I am protesting the fact that we are going to have a vote."

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Byrd said, however, that he was attending the vote, telling the chamber that he has cast more roll-call votes than any other senator in U.S. history.

"I guess I will not miss this one," he said. "But I am protesting. There is no reason why we should have to come in on a Sunday, on the Sabbath, and have roll-call votes... I hope it won't be done again after this year. I hope I will still be living and still be serving in the body."

The Senate is scheduled to vote at 2 p.m. Sunday on a massive omnibus package of legislation, followed by a 2:45 Democratic conference meeting. Republicans and some Democrats have been grousing over the schedule, forced by a standoff between Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.).

Reid, who was an assistant minority leader at the time of the 2004 vote that angered Byrd, gave a floor speech in which he said he and then-Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) believed they had no other choice but to schedule the Sunday session, in which cloture was invoked on the jobs-creation bill.

"We are here on a Sunday and our dear friend, the senior Senator from West Virginia, Mr. Byrd, talked about the Sabbath and we were all so impressed with his remarks," Reid said. "But I say that if there ever were a time legislatively when the ox was in the mire, it was this weekend."

-J. Taylor Rushing