Hurricane Harry:

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D.-Nev.) Thursday joined other Democrats calling for a swift response to Hurricane Katrina, sending a tersely worded letter to Majority Leader Bill Frist (R.-Tenn.) that asked him to set aside the GOP’s legislative priorities—primarily a bill to repeal the death tax—once Congress returns from its month-long recess.

“Given the tragic and devastating events along the Gulf Coast, members of the Senate would have great difficulty explaining why we were debating the estate tax during our first days back when we know hundreds of thousands of families are suffering,” said Reid. About two hours later, Frist’s office released a statement, brushing Reid’s showboating aside by announcing the Senate and House would, in fact, deal with Katrina’s devastation by reconvening in a special session to pass an emergency supplemental bill. Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) consented to the agreement.