POLITICS
12/15/2010 09:22 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Jon Kyl: Harry Reid Would 'Disrespect' Christmas By Extending Senate Session

A top Republican has accused Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of potentially 'disrespecting' Christmas.

Reid threatened to get tough with his power over the chamber's calendar Tuesday, when he told reporters that "there's still Congress after Christmas," implying to his colleagues that he would keep the Senate in session until the start of the 112th Congress on January 4th in order to provide time to vote on a laundry list of legislative items that the lame duck Congress had planned to tackle.

GOP Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl quickly took offense to the notion that legislators might be expected to work after December 25 and accused Reid of potentially "disrespecting one of the two holiest of holidays for Christians."

"It is impossible to do all of the things that the majority leader laid out without doing -- frankly, without disrespecting the institution and without disrespecting one of the two holiest of holidays for Christians and the families of all of the Senate, not just the senators themselves but all of the staff," Kyl said in response to Reid's claim that he would force the body to work through the holiday recess in order to vote on a number of key Democratic agenda items including Obama's START nuclear arms treaty, the DREAM Act, a bill that would overturn the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy, and a highly contentious spending bill that would authorize federal spending for next year.

"At some point you can no longer with a straight face, I think, carry the proposition that we are going to do this whole long list of things before the Christmas recess," Kyl added.

But if Reid's warning is to be believed, "before the Christmas recess" is no longer the Senate deadline.

"So if the Republicans think that they can stall and stall and stall that we take a break, we're through, we're not through," Reid said. "Congress ends on January 4th. So we're going to continue working on this stuff until we get it done, or we have up-and-down votes and find that it can't happen that way."

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