The House will wrap up legislative business earlier than expected this week, in an effort to ensure that members and their staff have time to get home safely in the middle of a powerful winter storm headed for the District.
Although the House was originally slated to be in session through Thursday, it will instead finish its legislative business by 1 p.m. on Wednesday, when the worst of the winter weather is expected to hit the Washington, D.C., area. Forecasters predict that between 3 inches and 8 inches of snow will fall in and around the District beginning early Wednesday, with heavier amounts expected north and west of the city, where many staffers live, and where Dulles International Airport in Virginia and Baltimore-Washington International Airport are located.
Instead of gaveling in at noon, as previously planned, the House will convene at 10 a.m., and will begin consideration of the rule for the fiscal 2013 continuing resolution. The chamber plans on voting on the rule and final passage of the CR and hopes to be done between 1 p.m. and 1:30 p.m., the last vote scheduled for the week.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantorís office also is encouraging House committees to begin their hearings and markups early and wrap them up as quickly as possible in an effort to get members and their staff out of the office early enough to miss the worst of the winter storm.
The Senate ó which is slated to be in session Wednesday ó has yet to announce whether it will wrap up its legislative business early. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reidís office did not return request for comment on the Senateís legislative plans.
Unlike executive branch agencies in the District, Capitol Hill does not follow the Office of Personnel Managementís closure orders. Instead, individual members of Congress make the call of whether or not to order their staff into work for the day.
The Dalai Lama greets House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., before a meeting with House leaders in the Capitol. The Dalai Lama was on the Hill to meet with members of the House and Senate and also presided of the Senate's morning prayer.