[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/11/30/art.getty.reid.closeup.jpg caption="Reid to Senate: Get ready to work overtime on health care."]Washington (CNN) - On their first day back from the Thanksgiving break, Harry Reid had a warning for his fellow senators: You can forget about any more down time for a while.
The Senate Majority Leader announced Monday, as the formal floor debate over the legislation crafted by the Senate Democratic leadership got underway, that "nothing can be more important" than the health care reform bill.
"We'll do this work tirelessly," the Nevada Democrat said on the Senate floor. "That may mean debating and voting late at night. It definitely means the next weekends - plural - we'll be working. I have events I'll have to postpone, some I'll have to cancel. There is not an issue more important than finishing this legislation."
The Senate was last in session the Saturday before Thanksgiving, when all 60 members of the Democratic caucus voted to begin debating health care reform in the full chamber. That Saturday vote could just be a taste of what's to come in December.
"We're going to have to work Saturdays and Sundays - as much and as long as we have to," said Reid.
The top Republican in the Senate countered Monday that working overtime on health care reform will jeopardize other important work.
"We have a debt ceiling expiring or needing to be expanded, according to the administration. We've not passed appropriations bill. There are tax extenders that expire at the end of the year. There are Patriot Act provisions that expire at the end of the year," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said on the floor of the Senate. "There are many things we must do this month, and yet, we're going to spend an enormous amount of time working on a bill that the American people wish we would not pass this month."
I will be working overtime to defeat anyone who votes for this bogus bill. Address tort reform, if we can limit what we pay doctors, let's put a cap on what lawyers can make on a malpractice case.
if they vote in health care "reform" we should vote every last one of them out – even the ones who voted against it. the American people do not want socialism – period!
These Senators need to stay in session until a bill is passed; if the (R’s) want to continue to obstruct/lie and mislead the American public then a full-scale Abortion package, aimed at all (R’s) should be added to the Health Care Reform Bill, and then the circus of attempting to get (R’s) support in any manner should simply be abandoned and my main man, Harry Reid, should simply go to REMEDIATION, which would allow the bill to pass with 51 votes!
America desperately needs Health Care Reform WITH a very ROBUST PUBLIC OPTION!
Anything less than that is going to be a huge joke and a colossal Christmas gift to the Health Care Insurance Industry and the Pharmas…
Good Harry, make these GOP Corporate sheep work overtime for free and to hopefully speed up this process.
how bout them working on jobs and getting the economy rolling.
the HC will not pass this year or next...possibly never. Sorry libs.
It's great that Reid is stepping it up. Some in the senate want the healthcare legislation to go away. It can't and it won't. Millions upon millions are without coverage.
What's left to say? ! ! The majority of you threaders have shown the backbone to say what most of us really feel...DEMOCRATS – GET THE JOB DONE! ! ! ! !
If there is a way to invoke closure within a reasonable delay, avoid a Republican filibuster and pass this important health care legislation with a simple majority, let the Democratic majority go ahead and do the job they were elected to do.
"There are many things we must do this month, and yet, we're going to spend an enormous amount of time working on a bill that the American people wish we would not pass this month."
At the heart of all Republican arguments is the claim that they really represent the majority of Americans, even when elections make it clear they don't.
To date, I haven't not seen Republicans offer a solution of there own except for tort limits, which is just crazy. This is likely saying the economic mess, caused by deregulation, can be solved by more deregulation.
Forget about it Harry, your bill is dead and it needs to stay dead.
The Public Option is a done deal...the abortion issue may see a compromise but the public option stays if the Dems ever want to win a single election again! Get it done!!!
Give me, give me, give me.
How about we start expecting people to earn what they get and stop punishing those who do by rewarding those who don't and won't?
"Social Security (called it socialism)"
Your right. They should have called it Social Security-ism.....aka Ponzi scheme. That's were you pay in, but it never pays out.
In this case, we are all forced to pay in. At least Madoff had volunteers.
If you are trying to make a point that, somehow, government run programs work could you at least pick a success story?
Our family just switched health care plans. In talking to the person responsible for coordinating the insurance, she told me that the hardest part of her job is telling companies that their rates just went up over 20% above last year's rates.
HOW IN THE WORLD CAN OUR COMPANIES COMPETE WITH THESE KINDS OF EXPENSES?!?!?
We need to pass meaningful health care reform NOW!
With the public option – and leave the abortion provision in there. It's the law and no one is forcing anyone to have an abortion.
Why don't you and your left wing coharts go to work and LISTEN to the American people! Your healthcare plan is rife with problems and WE THE PEOPLE oppose it!
Thank you Senator Reid for everything you are doing for this country. It's time for the Republicans to learn how to treat people with love and respect. The only thing they are worried about is winning wars and protecting the insurance companies. We gave the Republicans 8 of the worst years in American history. It's time to take this country back. Thank you Senator Reid for helping the citizens of America and not the insurance companies.