Thune wants to come home for holidays

On the whole, Sen. John Thune would rather be in South Dakota, watching high school hoops.

Thune and I talked sports Sunday, with a bit of politics and government mixed in. The senator said his nephew plays for Roosevelt High School and he was hoping to watch him play last weekend.

But Congress has been flying high, despite its lame-duck status, and Thune and other senators and representatives have been stuck in Washington, D.C., instead of home with their families and friends.

Thune said he’s not sure when Congress will adjourn. He feels the Nov. 2 election sent a message that Americans were unhappy with the efforts of the current Congress and didn’t want more done.

Last year, the Senate met on Christmas Eve to pass the Obama health care bill. That dramatic day, which included Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., getting the infamous “Cornhusker Kickback” for his vote, may have led to the GOP tide this fall.

Maybe Republicans like Thune, who is strongly considering a run for president in 2012, should want the Democrats to keep passing laws. It might be a useful campaign tool.

This year, the senators hope to be home by the holiday weekend. However, Sen. Tim Johnson said he is prepared to stay in session until Jan. 4, the day this session of Congress ends, if there is business to conduct.

Should politicians keep their nose to the grindstone and get things done, or should they head home for the holidays?

To read my story on Thune’s thoughts on the lame-duck session, go to