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Snow continues to wreak havoc on congressional schedule

By Paul Kane
With another potential blizzard bearing down on the nation's capital, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) has canceled legislative action for Tuesday night, leaving the week's calendar up in the air.

In a note to staff, Hoyer's office announced Monday evening that a series of votes on noncontroversial legislation set to begin at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday would not take place.

"Due to the weather affecting the ability of Members to travel to Washington, DC, there will no votes in the House tomorrow. We remain focused on completing our work for the week, but will assess the state of the weather tomorrow and move forward accordingly," Hoyer's office said in a statement.

In addition, several committees began abandoning their plans to hold hearings this week. The House Energy and Commerce Committee's health panel postponed a hearing on medical radiation, originally scheduled for Wednesday morning, and the House Appropriations Committee's panel on homeland security canceled a Tuesday event with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano about her agency's annual budget request.

If the House does not resume action by Wednesday, there's a real possibility that the chamber may not return for legislative business until Feb. 22. Beginning Thursday, the House is slated to begin its traditional break to allow members to return home to their congressional districts for President's Day. If the chamber does not return for business, it will have reschedule action on an intelligence bill and on a measure stripping anti-trust exemptions from the insurance industry, which Hoyer hoped to have on the floor Wednesday and Thursday.

The Senate tentatively still plans on holding votes at 5 p.m. Tuesday, including a key vote on President Obama's nominee to the National Labor Relations Board.

But the call for an additional eight inches of snow -- or more -- around the Capitol has left the entire week's agenda so cloudy that the Washington Press Club announced it is postponing its annual congressional dinner. Traditionally the first in a series of black-tie events hosted by various media foundations, Wednesday night's dinner was slated to be held at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Southwest Washington, with MSNBC's Joe Scarborough hosting.

"Sadly, we have been forced by impending weather to reschedule Wednesday's
Washington Press Club Foundation Congressional Dinner. Many members are still
stranded in their home states and the threat of another massive snowfall has made it necessary to hold the dinner on another date," Jim Kuhnhenn, president of the Washington Press Club Foundation, said in a statement.

By Web Politics Editor  |  February 8, 2010; 6:54 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Ha! even God doesn't want healthcare to pass- behind closed doors, against the will of the people.

Posted by: DCampbell2 | February 9, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Every day Congress is paralyzed is one less day for them to rob the rest of us. The government should close up, leave town, never come back, and send our money back to us. I'm tired of supporting all the parasitic classes up in DC.

Posted by: brewstercounty | February 8, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse

I hope Obama doesn't keep talking about global warming: somebodu Up There is getting really annoyed.

Posted by: SavingGrace | February 8, 2010 10:11 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if the GOP didn't contract with the Chinese to get a weather machine to Washington and delay the jobs bill that could save Obama's presidency...

Posted by: parkerfl1 | February 8, 2010 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Obama needs to mobilize the National Guard to help D.C. and the Maryland and Virginia suburbs with snow removal, so the federal government isn't totally paralyzed all week. They should concentrate on getting Metrorail operating all of its stations and clearing the Metrobus routes so the buses can run.

State and local snow removal crews are already exhausted, with another huge (for this area) snowstorm starting Tuesday. The D.C. area does not have enough bodies and snow removal equipment to efficiently deal with this much snow. They're doing a good job, but there's just too much snow for them to handle.

Call out the National Guard!!

Posted by: Kathy8 | February 8, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

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