Friday, June 29, 2007

Reid threatens to call off August recess


Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) Friday threatened to scrap the Senate’s August recess until senators resolve disputes holding up conference negotiations over two bills central to the Democratic agenda.

The bills, which would implement the recommendations made by the bipartisan 9/11 Commission and overhaul lobbying and ethics rules, have been stalled by Senate Republicans, who have demanded assurances over the final contents of the legislation.

The measures were cornerstones of the Democratic 2006 campaign platform, and Reid said lawmakers would clear the measures even if it meant working on Capitol Hill for Congress’s annual August recess.

“If it means our recess is going to go away, we’re going to complete those two pieces of legislation,” Reid said at a Friday morning news conference.

Reid and Republican leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) appeared close Thursday to naming Senate conferees to the ethics and lobbying overhaul bill, but Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) objected, demanding that stringent earmark disclosure rules would remain in the final bill.....

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