2 p.m. ET - The Senate's number two Democrat was very candid in a gaggle with a few of us just now that the Senate is likely to adjourn late next week – a week earlier than planned.
"I think we're going to try to get out of here next week if we can," Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill, said.
"Why?" I asked.
"People want to get home," said Durbin, "It's an election year and there are a lot of very close elections."
I then asked if there is concern that in an anti-Washington year, the longer Democrats are here, the worse it is for them.
"It's part of it, sure, its part of the calculation," Durbin responded, "if we can't do anything positive, if we can't do anything to pass laws of importance, then why stay here and debate? And unfortunately we've been tied up with so many cloture votes and filibusters we have passed very few things."
House Democrats have been signaling for some time that they would leave late next week too.
The Senate leaving early is news, and Durbin blamed Republicans for blocking movement on issues that topped the Democrats' agenda during this brief fall session.
As of now Senate Democrats say they still plan to try to bring up a huge election year flashpoint – extending Bush-era middle class tax cuts.
But they also expect Republicans to block that bill from coming to the floor, because of GOP insistence that Congress extend all tax cuts, including those for the wealthiest Americans.
Congress must also pass a bill to keep the government funded, known as a continuing resolution, before lawmakers leave town.