President Obama warned Congress on Wednesday that unless they made progress on debt ceiling talks soon, “we’re going to start canceling things.” Making good on the White House’s threat, Majority Leader Harry Reid is keeping the Senate in session over the July 4 recess.
“It is often said that with liberty comes responsibility. We should take that responsibility seriously. I know I do,” Reid said in a floor speech. “That is why the Senate will reconvene on Tuesday, the day after the Fourth of July.”
The two sides remain far apart, however, and it’s unclear if keeping them both in town will do much to break the impasse. Obama took a much more combative and frustrated tone at his press conference yesterday as he demanded Republicans accept some tax increases on wealthy Americans as part of a larger package. Reid went after his GOP colleagues hard on the issue as well in his speech.
“I’ve said it before: Republicans simply have the wrong priorities,” he said. “They have made it their mission to stand up and shout for the richest few. But Democrats consider it our responsibility to stand up and shout for all Americans.”
Asked for comment, a spokesman for Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) noted that Senate Republicans had already sent a letter to Reid in May asking he cancel all holiday recesses until the Senate had passed a budget.
Benjy Sarlin is a reporter for Talking Points Memo and co-writes the campaign blog, TPM2012. He previously reported for The Daily Beast/Newsweek as their Washington Correspondent and covered local politics for the New York Sun.