WASHINGTON -- The Senate will forgo its normal week-long July 4 recess and return to session after Independence Day to continue working on a deal to raising the debt limit, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced Thursday.
"It is often said that with liberty comes responsibility," Reid said during remarks on the Senate floor. "We should take that responsibility seriously. I know I do."
The majority leader said the Senate will reconvene on July 5 and to expect votes that day. He called on Republicans to "put politics aside" and work with Democrats to find common ground on a deficit reduction package by Aug. 2, when the government is projected to default on its debt. Republicans have insisted on tying a vote to raise the debt limit to a 10 year, $2.4 trillion deficit reduction plan, but lawmakers have been unable to agree to the components of that plan.
Reid's announcement comes a day after President Barack Obama urged Congress to stay in session to keep working toward a deal.
"We've got to get this done," Obama said during a Wednesday press conference. "And if by the end of this week, we have not seen substantial progress, then I think members of Congress need to understand we are going to start having to cancel things and stay here until we get it done."
"They're in one week, they're out one week. And then they're saying, 'Obama has got to step in. You need to be here,'" the president continued. "I've been here. I've been doing Afghanistan and bin Laden and the Greek crisis. You stay here. Let’s get it done."