Biden issues Senate call to action
December 16th, 2010
09:24 AM ET
8 years ago

Biden issues Senate call to action

(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.

Filed under: Congress • Joe Biden • Senate • START treaty
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. GonzoinHouston

    This would be blasphemy in DC, but START really is more important than politics. Although the Soviet Union is gone, Russia today is still not all that stable and sure ain't all that friendly. Vladimir Putin is only a step or two away from becoming a dictator, and he's working 19 hours a day towards that goal. Russia's nuclear arsenal is still very large, very functional and very, very dangerous.

    December 16, 2010 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  2. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    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.
    You're dealing with a veteran when it comes to Joe, so all this bulltwinkle is NOT going to fly with him now that he is Vice President.
    Unlike Senators on BOTH sides of the aisle, Joe is not afraid of putting in the time and hard work. And no one can accuse him of not being a 'good' Christian because he might've been born in Hawaii with a funny sounding middle name!
    Good luck trying to screw around with Joe guys. Roll up your sleeves and get to work.
    Who knows, maybe with the added inducement of trying to get home for Christmas they might stop bickering, dithering, and posturing long enough to get some real work done.

    December 16, 2010 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  3. paul

    Biden is 100% correct on this. Republicans that block this treaty are putting the nation at risk. The more nukes that are out there, the more chance of terrorists getting their hands on them. A reduction of nukes with "ground supervision" is a good thing. They only reason they are blocking is because they don't want Obama to get any credit. I, personally, am getting tired of their "blocking". The R's set a record the last two years for fillibusters!!!! That is not helping the country.

    December 16, 2010 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  4. a in austin

    This bill has been on the table since the spring. The party of NO delayed it then and want to continue to put it off. So much for doing what's right for the USA. Get it done – the elected officials have had way too much paid time off. Quit delaying and it can be passed as well as DADT.

    December 16, 2010 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  5. John

    Now he nsays we have to hurry. Why didn;t Congress take all the4se measures up instead of trying to ctram it through before the holidays. Just more of this pathetic Congress' antics. Fire them all. They are a disgrace toi the American people for not doing their job.

    December 16, 2010 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  6. MR

    Good for VP Biden – I don't know about the rest of the American people but I work up until the day before Christmas Eve every year. What makes Congress so special that they get off two weeks before Christmas. Give me a break!

    December 16, 2010 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  7. james Miller

    Our soldiers and sailors in Afganistan don`t have the luxury of getting off a week early for Xmas - not even Xmas day !!!! Why can`t our "public servants" work till Xmas Day ???? --- This only Republicans are hipocrats, just as the Tea Partiers now see in the Republicans total lack on interest in anything other than tax cuts for their rich buddies along with extra estate tax benefits. --- There is no way the EXTRA bonus ($5mil) on estate taxes will create a single job.---If you believe it does, there`s a bridge in Brooklyn , etc.----–

    December 16, 2010 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  8. lforlegend

    He's right, they should do the business they were elected to do. Death, illness, taxes, poverty don't take a holiday.

    December 16, 2010 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  9. katiec

    Kyle, for irresponsible purposes is the one holding up the START treaty. Their hypocrasy, lack of concern and caring can have some consequences, although not often enough.
    Something has to be done with a system that allows one person to stop critical issues, and ongoing fillibusters.

    December 16, 2010 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  10. grow up

    I think its a great idea that they have the holiday off, as long as ALL our troops are home , all the hospitals , nursing home ,police , fire and all other working stiff's have it off too. give us a break and grow up.

    December 16, 2010 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  11. Rick McDaniel

    Ya know......this "rush" to ratify this treaty, is HIGHLY suspicious, and just the fact it is being done, should give the Senate cause to want more time to review it!

    December 16, 2010 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  12. vic nashville tn

    Yesterday all CEOs said this “Job creation depend on consumer demand” that is true Bush tax cut won’t help that mean next year double digit unemployment

    Republicans block all the bills until Bush tax cut extension get its vote .Now they need break because they are tired of saying NO Really

    Give us break

    December 16, 2010 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  13. SonofNC

    We ask our service men and women to work on Christmas and every other holiday to preserve democracy. I don't think it's too much to ask our Senate to do the same. Besides, I have to work through the 24th and will be back on the 27th. I call it "doing my job" and it doesn't "disrespect Christmas".

    December 16, 2010 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  14. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    The Senate needs to be a faster moving body. Deliberation is great, but the START treaty has already been reviewed. Didn't the Senate get it in May or June? That should have given the GOP plenty of time to read it.

    December 16, 2010 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  15. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA/John Boehner The Crybaby

    Very well stated Mr. Vice President. Poor republicans can't get out to Sax 5th Ave and Zales to go Christmas shopping. Cry me a river for Christ sake. You're on the People's time! Do your job!!!

    December 16, 2010 10:16 am at 10:16 am |