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Senate releases most of 2012 work calendar

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., center, with Majority Whip Dick Durbin D-Ill., left, and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., partially obscured at right Associated Press

Senate Democrats released the 2012 Senate calendar today and senators can count on spending about the same amount of time in the nation's capital the first part of next year as they did in 2011.

The schedule released by Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin's office only outlines the calendar from January through the beginning of September which is the end of the five week August recess. If the chamber sticks to that schedule, senators can expect to be in legislative session about 114 days from January through August of 2012. That amounts to 23 work weeks of the 36 weeks accounted for on the

partial schedule or less than two-thirds of the time.

The Senate schedule is a stark contrast from the House of Representatives schedule released last week which sets a goal of two weeks on, one week off and has the House in session for 109 weekdays next year.

The Senate returns from their December recess and convenes for their first day of work on Monday, January 23, 2012. After getting a late start in January, the senate will work four straight weeks before recessing for the President's Day state work period scheduled to begin the week of Monday, February 20.

Following the Presidents' Day week recess the Senate will work for a stretch of five weeks - the longest scheduled work period - leading up to the Passover and Easter holiday break scheduled for two weeks from April 2 through April 13.

The month of April includes only ten legislative work days before members leave town again for a week long break on April 30.

The traditional week long recess for Memorial Day Federal Holiday is scheduled for the end of May and a week away for Independence Day Holiday over July Fourth.

Unlike the House which is not scheduled to work more than 14 days in any month next year, senators can anticipate being in Washington for nearly the entire month of June. The summer months include two four week spans in town for legislative work.

The schedule rounds out with a five week August break scheduled from Monday, August 6 through Friday, September 7.

Following that recess, the schedule for the rest of year and a target adjournment date was not announced for the Senate in 2012, a presidential and congressional election year.