Flashback:
Harry Reid, fundraiser, weekend, healthcare, abortion.png

  • Sen. Harry Reid: “Nothing could be more important than this. We notified everybody prior to the break we would be working weekends.” (Sen. Reid, Congressional Record, S.11980, November 30)
  • Sen. Harry Reid: “Mr. President, yesterday, Friday, 14,000 people lost their health insurance in America. Today, Saturday, another 14,000 people will lose their health insurance. And Sunday and Monday and Tuesday and on and on. 14,000 people every day lose their healthinsurance in America. The American people don’t get weekends off from this injustice.” (Sen. Reid, Floor Remarks, December 5)
  • That was then, this is now…

  • Sen. Harry Reid: “I see no reason to punish everybody this weekend…. I had one senator come to me and said that she hadn’t been home now in 2 or 3 weeks and it was not a good situation…. I see no reason to punish everybody this weekend.” (Sen. Reid, Floor Remarks, December 9)
  • What’s really going on, as spotlighted in an ABC story linked on Drudge yesterday and today:

    … The Senate has been working at a breakneck pace (for the Senate) on the health reform legislation. Lawmakers worked all last weekend on Democrats’ health reform bill and they worked the Saturday before Thanksgiving and all signs indicated they would work this coming weekend too.
    But Reid, who wants to get a healthcare bill finished by Christmas, urged Republicans on the Senate floor to forego a debate on several conference reports this weekend in order to give Senators and staffers the weekend off.
    “I understand the Republican leader doesn’t want us to do health care. I appreciate that. He and I have different positions on that,” said Reid. “I see no reason to punish everybody this weekend and I hope the minority will give strong consideration to the proposal that i’ve made.”
    But in addition to shepherding the health care bill through the Senate, Reid is also locked in a tough reelection campaign.
    And in that regard his desire for a weekend off is not so benevolent to other Senators and staffers.
    It turns out Reid has a 1k plus per plate fundraiser scheduled for Saturday in New Orleans, according to one local paper, which also reports that Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-LA, a key swing moderate in the health care debate, will also be in attendance.
    But Reid will not escape the health debate even in the Big Easy; the paper reports that Tea Party activists who oppose health reform are planning to picket the fundraiser.

    Whoops, Reid – ever the oaf – should never have dissed Republicans in his pitch. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell issued a press release yesterday saying no, we’re staying. Click to enlarge…
    Mitch McConnell response, Harry Reid, healthcare, abortion.png
    The ABC story continued…

    Republicans rejected Reid’s request Thursday morning to fast track several spending bills, clear the floor for health reform votes next week, and take the weekend off.
    “Republicans are prepared to provide a platform for the debate as long as it takes,” said Sen. Mitch McConnell, noting that “The majority leader said we would be working every weekend and we took him at his word.”
    We expect to be here this weekend and we look forward to it. Republicans believe there is nothing more important we can do than stop this bill and start over… we are eager to continue the debate.”
    “I know people have fundraisers because they are running for reelection and people have other important things to do, but there is nothing more important to do than this,” said McConnell.
    What being in session means for the reform bill is unclear; the Senate floor debate is largely a side show. There have been 14 amendments in 10 days of debate. The real action on the bill is taking place off the Senate floor as Democrats search within their own caucus for the 60 votes they’ll need to pass the reform bill.

    Now, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal

    Reid said Thursday he has canceled a fundraiser brunch that was set for Saturday in New Orleans. His disclosure came after Republicans demanded Reid keep the Senate working through a second consecutive weekend.
    Reid… took to the Senate floor and blasted Republicans for trying to “embarrass or denigrate” him.
    “I think that this debate has really come to a point that I’ve rarely seen in the Senate – in fact, I’ve never seen it,” Reid said. He said he would never make insinuations about fellow senators and fundraisers.
    “Any events I had scheduled this weekend have been canceled,” Reid said. “Events I had last weekend had been canceled. 4 or 5 of them.”
    Reid kept senators in session last weekend, working to complete a massive health care overhaul by Christmas. With the health bill temporarily tied up, Reid floated the idea of allowing senators to go home this weekend if Republicans would agree to speed votes on an unrelated appropriations bill.
    Republicans, who are trying to kill the health bill, refused to go along.
    Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., the Republican leader, suggested Reid was eager to leave town….
    The New Orleans event was to be hosted by Sen. Mary Landrieu… and political consultant James Carville….
    The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported tickets for brunch with Reid were to cost $1k to $4,800. Tea Party organizers were preparing a protest march on the event, dubbing it the “Streetcar Named Retire.”….

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