Senate Cancels July 4 Recess

McConnell challenges president to meet with Republicans

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Jun 30, 2011 12:46 PM CDT

(Newser) – The Senate abandoned plans for a July 4 break as time dwindled for lawmakers to strike a compromise on avoiding a government default. Harry Reid announced the scheduling change today, a day after President Obama prodded lawmakers to act swiftly to extend the government's ability to borrow money. "We'll do that because we have work to do," Reid said. Minutes later, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell took to the Senate floor to challenge Obama to meet with Senate Republicans "anytime this afternoon" at the Capitol.

He belittled Obama's demands to include increased tax revenues as part of a deficit-cutting package, repeating what GOP leaders have long said: Congress lacks the votes to approve a measure containing tax hikes. "He can hear directly from Senate Republicans why what he's proposing will not pass," said McConnell. "And we can finally start talking about what's actually possible." The White House said Obama had no plans to accept McConnell's invitation.

Harry Reid, accompanied by Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin., speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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