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.
Web Politics Editor
February 8, 2010; 6:54 PM ET
Categories: 44 The Obama Presidency
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