Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) speaks to the press following the Democratic Caucus Luncheons on Capitol Hill in Washington on December 14, 2010. Reid said he would keep the Senate in session for as long as needed in order to finish their work on the tax bill, appropriations, DREAM Act, 9/11 legislation and "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." UPI/Kevin Dietsch | License Photo
WASHINGTON, Dec. 16 (UPI) -- A push by Senate Democrats to ratify an arms control agreement and an omnibus spending bill before Christmas is "sacrilegious," Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., says.
But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says he's no Grinch and doesn't need a lecture about the meaning of Christmas for Christians, Politico reported Thursday.
DeMint Wednesday demanded a reading of the treaty and the omnibus spending bill, which could push a possible vote closer to Christmas. While he backed off his demand that the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty be read, his threat to force Senate clerks to read the nearly 2,000-page spending bill is still on the table.
"We shouldn't be jamming a major arms control treaty up against Christmas; it's sacrilegious and disrespectful," DeMint told Politico. "What's going on here is just wrong. This is the most sacred holiday for Christians. They did the same thing last year -- they kept everybody here until (Christmas Eve) to force something down everybody's throat. I think Americans are sick of this."
Echoing similar sentiments was Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., who said Tuesday Reid's schedule is impossible to accomplish "without disrespecting one of the two holiest of holidays for Christians."
On the floor Wednesday, Reid defended a packed lame-duck agenda in the final days of the session, blaming Republicans for stalling legislative business throughout the year.
"As a Christian, no one has to remind me of the importance of Christmas for all of the Christian faith, all their families across America," he said. "I don't need to hear the sanctimonious lectures of Sens. Kyl and DeMint to remind me of what Christmas means."
On Tuesday, Reid hinted that the Senate could be called back after Dec. 25, saying, "there is still Congress after Christmas."