- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 31, 2014

Congress is about to take a five-week summer vacation, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid warned Thursday that lawmakers will pay on the other end, giving up two full weekends back home in order to be in Washington re-voting on issues that have repeatedly failed.

“We have not had a productive Congress. We can’t push everything back to a so-called lame duck,” Mr. Reid warned colleagues from the Senate floor.

He said the Senate will return from its vacation on Sept. 8 and will spend little more than two weeks in session, where it much vote on a constitutional amendment rewriting the First Amendment, reauthorizing the Export-Import bank and “reconsider a number of issues” that have already been blocked by GOP filibusters: college aid, a raise in the minimum wage, trying to overturn the Hobby Lobby Supreme Court decision on contraceptive coverage, and extra aid for student loans.

That hefty load of re-votes will mean working through both weekends of Sept. 13-14 and Sept. 20-21, the Nevada Democrat said.

The schedule may not sit well with some of Mr. Reid’s most vulnerable Democratic senators who face tricky re-elections in November, and who might prefer to be back home campaigning. But the politically freighted votes Mr. Reid has scheduled will also help them draw distinctions with congressional Republicans.

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