Boehner was confident Wednesday, telling reporters at a terse news conference that the House would pass a bill to extend the 2001 and 2003 tax rates for those making less than $1 million a year.
The transcontinental trip requires nearly a half-day of flying, and lawmakers who decide to attend the service will lose five hours on their return to the contiguous states. Per the guidance issued to members, the government plane likely will return to Washington early on the morning of Christmas Eve.
Given the tight schedule, many sources suggested that if any votes are called or a deal emerges, there are only two small windows before Christmas to deal with it: Friday afternoon or early Saturday morning. Even then, sources were skeptical that enough progress could be made to get anything wrapped before the holidays.
Most of the speculation on work this weekend revolves around Boehner’s ability to pass his backup plan through the House. If he does, Democrats would then have to decide whether they want or have to take action before everyone leaves town.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.