Dear Senator Reid:
Please consult your calendar and the Constitution. You have several times indicated that you will keep Congress in session until January 5 to work on an ambitious legislative agenda. Not to be too technical, but you cannot keep Congress in past noon on January 3.
Everyone understands your point. As majority leader, you are engaging in a tried and true tactic of making it difficult for the minority to run out the clock on your legislative priorities. And the threat of votes in the Christmas week or even just past New Year’s may raise the price of opposition.
But you are getting two dates mixed up. January 5 is the day that the incoming 112th Congress will first meet. January 3 at noon, however, is the day that the Constitution specifies that the term of the 111th Congress will end and when the term of the 112th Congress will begin.