(CNN) - Vice President Biden called on Congress to "get out of the way" to allow for a vote on the New START Treaty and criticized members for complaining about their schedule.
"I hope I don't get in the way of your Christmas shopping, but this is the nation's business," Biden said in an interview Wednesday set to air on NBC.
Senate Republicans attacked Democrats Tuesday and Wednesday over the possibility of staying in Washington until the Christmas holiday. Arizona Republican Sen. Jon Kyl accused Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid of "disrespecting one of the two holiest of holidays for Christians" after he left the door open to keeping the Senate in session, and Reid accused Republicans issuing "sanctimonious lectures."
Biden, who served 35 years in the Senate before becoming vice president, said senators need to stop dragging their feet and recalled many years when the chamber stayed in session until the holiday. Referring to START, he said there is "too much at stake for America's national security."
The Senate is scheduled to begin debate Thursday on the nuclear arms reduction treaty between the United States and Russia. Although the treaty has received bipartisan support, Republicans attempted to stall a vote because they wanted more time for debate, while the White House has repeatedly encouraged Congress to pass the agreement.