Reid threatens to extend lame-duck

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) warned senators that they might have to stay in session through the week of Dec. 15. 

In comments on the floor, Reid said he hoped the Senate could avoid staying at work the week before Christmas, but warned an additional week of work was possible.

{mosads}“We have a lot to do and not a lot of time to accomplish it,” Reid said. “We might have to be here the week before Christmas, however Mr. President, not into the Christmas holiday.”

Both the House and Senate are scheduled to recess for the year by Dec. 12, but Reid said that if the Senate fails to pass bills funding the government, reauthorizing defense spending, extending tax deductions and clearing nominations, he would extend the session through the week of Dec. 15-19.

Reid had been working with House leaders on a tax deal, but last week the White House torpedoed that with a veto threat.

So far the Senate has scheduled only votes on nominations, but the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) or a tax extenders bill could come to the floor later this week. The Senate is also waiting for the House to pass a bill that would prevent a government shutdown after Dec. 11.

Reid is likely to face pressure from lawmakers who want to get out of Washington. Republicans will take over the Senate in January after their victories in the midterm elections. 

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