November 30th, 2009
04:32 PM ET
12 years ago

Reid to Senate: Get ready to work overtime on health care

[cnn-photo-caption image= 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."

Filed under: Harry Reid • Health care • Senate
soundoff (116 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Thank you for standing up for reform Sen. Reid. When I heard Sen. McConnell's remarks earlier, it sounded upset that they have to work on the weekends. Well get over it!! Get to work!!!

    November 30, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  2. Rick CT

    McConnell didn't even mention the work that will have to be done for Obama's strategy in Afghanistan

    November 30, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  3. Jamie

    Finally Reid developing some backbone, don't let go of the public option.

    November 30, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  4. gt

    yep.. that a boy harry,, the hell with getting this country back to work.... just work on health care... because if you dont have a job how are you going to pay for anything,,,,

    November 30, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  5. B

    Make em do it this time !

    America wants this done in spite of what the Republicans say..

    If they get their way, this country will be without health care for another ten years..

    November 30, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  6. nathan smith ga

    Good call senator Reid get er done!

    November 30, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  7. Albo58

    With double-digit employment and a massive national debt, we CAN and SHOULD be working on something more important than the Democrat's plan for a complete government take over of health care! Harry Reid and his fellow thieves have no clue on placing priority for our them all!

    November 30, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  8. Gorbashov - Long Beach, Ca.


    The American people want it and deserve it!!

    To the "Party of NO", I say sit down and shut-up!!!

    "Elections have consequences"!

    November 30, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  9. dak

    "The top Republican in the Senate countered Monday that working overtime on health care reform will jeopardize other important work."

    Oh good grief! What "important work"?? The Republican'ts haven't done any important work since 2008 and the whole nation knows it!

    November 30, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  10. vwrtb

    Yeah.. We don't want it passed this month... We want it passed last month...

    November 30, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  11. Sea.gem

    I love the intensity...must work fast so people don't catch on and we are voted out of office! What a scam and a sham! Not one person outside of Congress has shown this to be anything else than a financial train wreck...but Libs think we can pay for things with "Social Merits" and imaginary cost savings...leave it to the Left to misidentify a problem thereby ensuring the wrong solution...

    November 30, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  12. Clint

    Democrats, show some solidarity and get this done. Senator Reid, show some leadership and get this done for the American people. They will respect the result.

    November 30, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |

    That's right, Reid. Not just on health care reform but deal with all the other issues that need senate's attention. I am baffled that the Republicans continue to complain that what about other bills? We've been talking health care for decades, and most especially all summer long. Pass health care, pass other necessary legislation, and if not, no Christmas vacation for the do-nothing senate. Enough is enough. For the first time, Senators, please do the people's business instead of catering to the special interests.

    November 30, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  14. Fred the Moderate

    That's right Ried, don't let anybody go home until it's done. No Christmas Vacation on us until you do the job, up or down, good or bad. No more "Do Nothing Congresses" like the Bush years. We pay you, be about the peoples business!

    November 30, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  15. T'SAH from Virginia

    They should work TRIPLE overtime because this is being STRETCHED just a little tooooooooooooooooo far!! You are giving the REPUBLI-CAN'ts fuel to spread LIES and HATE and hurting our Senior Citizens the most with their DEATH PANEL and other FALSEHOODS!!

    November 30, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  16. phoenix86

    Nothing can be more important?

    What about 10.2% and rising unemployment?

    This is why Reid and company need to go.

    Hello 2010....almost there.

    November 30, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  17. Party Purity will never bring Political Power!

    Reid would need a set of Grayson's gonads to get the health reform bill through the Senate and he is too weak and will cave.

    He should never have stated reconciliation was not an option, if this bill has a prayer of passage, it would have to be via reconciliation.

    Maybe they can keep the part that opens Medicaid to single adults, and some of the unemployed and not just single mothers with kids, a small consolation prize, but better than nothing.

    November 30, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  18. Alimi

    Mitch McConnell, hope you can multi tsk, so just keep quiet and work.

    November 30, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  19. Steph

    Good! We NEED health care reform!

    November 30, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  20. chill

    Good point Mitch. So top the obstruction and get on with the healthcare debate so we can get to those other matters.

    November 30, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  21. Dodie

    Thank you Senator Harry Reid from Nevada. I think you put the "fear of god" into these senators when you stated; late night and weekend working.

    For once, the Senators will actually have to work for a living! Now I call that divine intervention!

    My compliments to Senator Harry Reid from Nevada! Keep up the good work!

    November 30, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  22. g ontario

    the way the republicans and insurance companys are fighting it,ll be another 60 years before you get the health care your dying for

    November 30, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  23. Bluebonnet

    You tell 'em big boy! What a laugh this man is.

    November 30, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  24. Tiffany

    Mr. McConnell, why do you keep saying the american people don't want to pass this bill. what polls are you looking at?

    November 30, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  25. Chipster

    Is Sen. McConnell suggesting that our health care situation is not important? Small businesses are dropping plans due to 55%-85% premium increases and employees cannot afford the copays anymore. More companies are hiring temp/part time employees to cut fringe benefit costs. The DOD has a health cost crisis on their hands, doubling in the next 10 years which means less funding for everything else.

    Oh, that's right – McConnell already HAS a Public Option! So, what does he care about Healthcare?

    November 30, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
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