Congress Plans Around Clinton Event

Posted November 12, 2004 at 5:39pm

Congress will pause this week during its first session after President Bush’s re-election so that Members can honor his predecessor.

All this week, festivities will be held in Little Rock, Ark., to mark the opening of the Clinton Presidential Center. The official dedication ceremony will take place Thursday morning, and several Members of the House and Senate are expected to attend.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) has told Democrats that the chamber will adjust its schedule so that no votes will be held Wednesday afternoon or Thursday morning.

“I think that we will allow for those travel arrangements,” said Frist spokeswoman Amy Call. “But we will have votes later Thursday.”

On the House side, Majority Leader Tom DeLay’s (R-Texas) office had not decided as of Friday whether his chamber would make a similar accommodation for Members wishing to attend the ceremony.

It is unclear how many House lawmakers actually plan to attend the ceremony beyond members of the Arkansas delegation. A spokeswoman for Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said she was not sure whether her boss would attend.

In the Senate, Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) will attend, and several more Democrats are also likely to make the trip. In addition to honoring Bill Clinton, Senators will also be there to show support for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), who will be introducing her husband.

No other current Members will be part of the program, although former Rep. Floyd Flake (D-N.Y.), a minister, will be leading the invocation.