Senate to scrap July 4 recess to work on debt-limit deal

After being taken to task by the president for keeping a low-key schedule, the Senate has canceled its planned Fourth of July break next week in order to attempt to make progress on deficit reduction talks.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made the announcement Thursday morning, saying senators would be expected back in Washington for an afternoon vote on Tuesday.

“We’ll do that because we have work to do,” Reid said in floor remarks. “There’s still much to do to put Americans back to work, to cut our deficit and get our economy back to work. It is really important that we do this.”

The Senate was scheduled to be out of session next week. The House is off this week and due to return for votes on Wednesday.


President Obama unloaded on Congress at a press conference Wednesday, specifically citing the frequent breaks for what used to be called recess. Leaders now call the time out of Washington “constituent work periods.”

“They’re in one week. They’re out one week. And then they’re saying Obama’s got to step in-- you need to be here, I’ve been here, I’ve been doing Afghanistan, Bin Laden, and the Greek crisis. You stay here. Let’s get it done,” Obama said.

The administration has said lawmakers need to vote to raise the debt ceiling before Aug. 2 to avoid default on the country’s financial obligations. Talks to craft a deficit reduction plan before the date appear to have stalled.