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. Rickster

    Translation: "We have to hurry this along before the American public wakes up and realizes what a monstrous boondoggle this is that will cost people more for their healthcare and reduce the quality of our healthcare long as people are still asleep at the wheel, we can do this."

    November 30, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  2. D.

    He means at times "no one notices what is happening and people are tired to care what is being done."
    The US Senate is not a group of thieves who need to work at times no one notices what they are doing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    It's frustrating that such work tactics are employed by our representatives!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 30, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  3. Chris - Denver

    Good. They don't deserve any more time off until they actually get this done.

    November 30, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  4. Justin M

    Get it done.

    November 30, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  5. Jim

    They have to work overtime on this to overcome the Republican delay tactics. Does anyone realize that the House of Representatives has passed 105 bills that are stiing dead in the Senate because of filibuster threats by Republicans? They want nothing to happen on anything so that they can gain the upper hand politically and that isn't what I call Country First.

    November 30, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  6. Florida Joe

    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is so out of touch with what the majority wants. If you really care about this country and getting all of these agenda items addressed, stop with the foot dragging blocking every attempt to move forward. You have come up with no alternatives, you have no ideas other than TAX CUTS for the rich........STOP acting like you care about the average American....YOU DO NOT!!!

    November 30, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  7. Bob in Florida

    Work! Work! Maybe overtime is needed. There certainly is a lot of posturing to get thru.

    November 30, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  8. jake

    McConnell is wrong, most of us Americans want health care reform. I'm sick of the insurance companies screwing us.

    November 30, 2009 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  9. Melissa

    YES! Its about bloody time someone put their foot down. Make them work through Christmas if they have to but make them get their jobs done. They don't deserve a vacation until they produce something usable.

    November 30, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  10. james

    i cant wait till this debate is done

    November 30, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  11. File under "Sarcasm"

    Got to ram this through as fast as you can, Harry! There'll be plenty of time to rest between now and 2014 when the bill actually has some effect on healthcare other than collecting our taxes. You'll have more time then than most as you'll be unemployed after the next election.

    November 30, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  12. Iowa voter

    Lets hurry this up so most Americans won't have the chance to read what they are getting. As for me, I'm anxious for 2010 and the elections. Democrats that don't listen to the voters need to go and go now. WE DON'T NEED THIS BILL AS IT IS WRITTEN NOW. Oh by the way, I have listened to a number of Doctors and Nurses who cliam this bill is not real reform. One of the Nurses is my daughter. What I have gained so far is losing my Medical Insurance that was worth something. Thanks Obama.

    November 30, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  13. Fredo Corleone (the weak one)

    how about blowhard, for it or against it these Senators are such bloowhards.

    November 30, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  14. James

    I am so sick and tired of republicans saying its obama fault for the high deficit. Remember it was your cowboy moron that started two wars and even let a terrorist leader get away. Way to go guys!

    We need this reform now and we need the public option. Stop saying no to everything this president tries to do. You guys had 8 years and you messed up big time. You really have no room to talk anymore

    November 30, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  15. Glennis

    Would that they spent time working on something that would improve the economy instead of trying to finish it off. As for working overtime, why is it that they never do that unless they're trying to push through some scam before all the details are known. It would be nice to get an honest day's work out of these sorry excuses for representation.

    November 30, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  16. mark

    thank goodness for centrists who will not let a bloated gvt controlled health care bill pass. have fun getting anti-abortionists and anti-public option senators aboard this horrible bill dems!

    November 30, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  17. A working American

    Thank god we have a senate that is willing to work for the American People. I was in stationed for the military in DC when the Republicans were in control and it amazed me that as much as they hate liberals, they had the most liberal work schedule I could imagine....3 day work weeks so that members could spend time with their "constituents". If only that were true. Too bad Harry Reid is actually making the Republicans work weekends now. Maybe now they'll take time to come up with their own reform plan instead of just oppose the Democrats. Unlikely.

    November 30, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |

    The whining has only just begun!

    November 30, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  19. m jeff

    No public option = no options

    November 30, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  20. mjm

    Reid just can't wait to get those taxes rolling, huh?

    This isn't a reform bill, it's a spending bill. It does nothing to improve health care, it covers no one until 2014, and it will cost more than the $849 billion they claim it costs.

    In the end, we will have all the taxes, all the spending, and nothing to show for it.

    Kind of like the "stimuless" bill, only with health care.

    Liberals will fall for gobal warming,...just as long as someone else gets taxed.

    November 30, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  21. Delaware Girl

    Translation: "We have to hurry this along before the American public wakes up and realizes what a monstrous boondoggle this is that will cost people more for their healthcare and reduce the quality of our healthcare long as people are still asleep at the wheel, we can do this."

    Actual Translation: "If the Republicans are determined to delay, delay, delay, then they are going to sit in their seats and work, work, work, until we can get this thing finished.

    November 30, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  22. Randy

    Continued reform like this will eventually lead to revolution. People are begining to feel helpless when the government starts creating laws, more restrictions, taxes, and mandates. I fear our fall of capitalism will be much like the fall of communism.
    People at the top have nothing to fear, even if voted out of office, they get $100,000+ payments for speaking at events and the cushy government pensions and benefits. Things need to change, and I have a feeling when they do that a civil war like never seen before will happen.

    November 30, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  23. Karen

    OPEN you eyes (if that is even possible for you) and realize America NEEDS jobs before health care! Check the emergency rooms, NO ONE is denied! I so hope Reid gets voted out of office!

    November 30, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  24. LacrosseMom

    45,000 Americans die every year because they do not have healthcare.

    Healthcare and Healthcare Reform WILL pass, and once again the GOP will have been on the wrong side of history.

    Republicans were also against.......

    Social Security (called it socialism)
    Minimum Wage
    Unemployment Benefits

    What else is new?

    November 30, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  25. mjm

    "Small businesses are dropping plans due to 55%-85% premium increases and employees cannot afford the copays anymore. "

    None of this changes under this so called health care reform. In fact private insurance will be more expensive, not less.

    "The DOD has a health cost crisis on their hands, doubling in the next 10 years which means less funding for everything else."

    By DOD you meant the VA? You do know that's government funded, right? That, and the fact that Medicare is broke, is exactly why we can't have a public option.

    By the way, Gov employees, like Reid, have private insurance. You're getting Medicaid, not the Reid plan.

    November 30, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
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