KYL’S CONCERN FOR HIS CHRISTMAS VACATION…. Given all the work the Senate still has to do before wrapping up for the year, it’s a given that members will be on the job next week. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), to his credit, has said it’s possible the chamber will be voting the following week, too.
Mr. Kyl said that Mr. Reid’s effort to do too much was inconsiderate of the Senate as an institution and also of senators, staff and their families hoping to celebrate Christmas. […]
Mr. Kyl added, ” It is impossible to do all of the things that the majority leader laid out without doing — frankly, without disrespecting the institution and without disrespecting one of the two holiest of holidays for Christians and the families of all of the Senate, not just the senators themselves but all of the staff.”
There are a few angles to consider here.
First, no one is talking about having senators or their aides work on Christmas, “one of the two holiest of holidays for Christians.” I’m not a theologian, but I’m comfortable with the observation that modern Christianity places no spiritual significance on Dec. 27 through Dec. 31. The “respect” Kyl demands for his religious holiday appears to be intact.
Second, Kyl might want to take a peek outside his DC bubble — the vast majority of American workers will be on the job the week after Christmas, and places of business nationwide will be open. (Does Kyl think all of these employers are “disrespecting” Christianity?) Asking senators to work when most of their constituents are working hardly seems unreasonable.
And third, the Senate is perfectly capable of getting its work done before Christmas, but that appears unlikely because Kyl’s Republican colleagues are deliberately bringing the legislative process to a crawl. It’s not Reid’s fault the GOP is forcing needless, petty delays.
As it turns out, Kyl just happens to be the Minority Whip, which in theory puts him in a position of some influence. Instead of complaining about Reid, maybe he should have a chat with some of his obstructionist colleagues.