Senate session lasted 12 seconds

Dec. 31, 2007 at 8:22 PM
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 31 (UPI) -- The U.S. Senate's final session of the year Monday lasted all of 12 seconds.

Only Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., was in the chamber to gavel open the Senate and adjourn it until Jan. 3, CNN reported.

Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., announced Dec. 19 he would keep the Senate technically in session with a series of "pro forma" sessions through mid-January to prevent President George Bush from making appointments without lawmakers' consent.

Previously, Bush has exercised his constitutional authority to make top-level appointments without the Senate's confirmation when the chamber is in recess.

Similar micro-sessions were held during the Thanksgiving recess, CNN reported.

In January, Sens. Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts, Byron Dorgan of North Dakota, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Ben Cardin of Maryland and Chuck Schumer of New York are among those who will share the duty of presiding over the "pro forma" sessions.

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