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Biden to GOP: 'Don't Tell Me About Christmas'

3 years ago
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It wasn't exactly a Scrooge moment, but Vice President Joe Biden has little patience with Senate Republicans who cite the holidays as a reason to put off finishing work on such matters as the START treaty, a huge priority for the Obama administration.

"Don't tell me about Christmas," an irritated Biden said in remarks reported by the NBC Nightly News, the New York Times and Politico. "I understand Christmas. I have been a senator for a long time. I have been there [the Senate] many years where we go right up to Christmas."

Indeed, while most Americans are engaged in holiday activities, Congress often goes deep into December, trying to finish work begun months before. Former President Clinton's impeachment in the House of Representatives crowded the holidays in 1998.

This week in Washington, Majority Leader Harry Reid irked some Republicans when he warned that the Senate might return during the time between Christmas and New Year's Day to complete action on START and other matters. One senator, Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), told Reid that such scheduling impinged on "the most sacred holiday for Christians." Reid, in turn, said DeMint and other Republicans were being "sanctimonious."

All in the spirit of the season on Capitol Hill. Ratifying the START arms reduction treaty between the United States and Russia is worth the extra time spent legislating, Biden said Wednesday in New York. "There's 10 days between now and Christmas. I hope I don't get in the way of your Christmas shopping, but this is about the nation's business," he scolded the Senate. "This is national security at stake. Act, act."

Watch Biden, courtesy NBC News.


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