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Shutdown skedaddle: Congress deserted as deadline looms

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Stephen Dinan
The Washington Times
Feb 25, 2011

With the clock ticking to a March 4 government shutdown, you might imagine the Capitol would be buzzing with lawmakers seeking to cut deals, make impassioned speeches and do everything they could to strike a deal on spending.

You’d be wrong.

House lawmakers stayed until 4:41 a.m. Saturday to finish up a spending bill to keep the government open, and sent it over to the Senate — only to be met with an empty chamber. Senators had closed up shop two days before and went home for a 10-day break to honor George Washington’s birthday.

“We will do our work, but where is the Senate? They’re on vacation,” said Rep. Denny Rehberg, a Montana Republican and member of the House Appropriations Committee who ran part of the floor debate over cutting spending for the new health care law. “Here we are knocking up against a March 4 deadline and they’re missing the deadline again.”

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This article was posted: Friday, February 25, 2011 at 4:58 am





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