"I understand the Republican leader doesn't want us to do health care; I appreciate that," Reid said this week. "He and I have different positions on that. I see no reason to punish everybody this weekend and I hope the minority will give strong consideration to the proposal that I've made." ABC reports, however, that Reid's insistance on stalling the health care debate is not just his benevolence and love of lowly staffers:
It turns out Reid has a $1,000 plus per plate fundraiser scheduled for Saturday in New Orleans, according to one local paper, which also reports that Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-LA, a key swing moderate in the health care debate, will also be in attendance.
But Reid will not escape the health debate even in the Big Easy; the paper reports that Tea Party activists who oppose health reform are planning to picket the fundraiser.
This morning, Republicans rebuked Reid's request, saying they are "prepared to provide a platform for the debate as long as it takes." Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, noted that "The majority leader said we would be working every weekend and we took him at his word."
"We expect to be here this weekend and we look forward to it. Republicans believe there is nothing more important we can do than stop this bill and start over... we are eager to continue the debate."