House Cancels Votes, Senate Postpones for Bush Ceremonies

Send-off for former president scrambles calendar and changes calculation of shutdown politics

Workers set up the Capitol Rotunda on Monday for the body of former President George H.W. Bush to lie in state. The House and Senate have both altered legislative schedules to honor Bush, who died Friday at age 94.(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House has canceled all votes for the week and the Senate has postponed votes until after the Wednesday funeral of former President George H.W. Bush.

House lawmakers were scheduled to vote on 14 bills under suspension of the rules this week, in addition to the farm bill conference report and a fiscal 2019 spending package. Current funding for nine Cabinet departments and dozens of smaller agencies will run dry on Dec. 7.

Bush’s passing on Friday scrambled the congressional calendar and changed the calculation of government shutdown politics. President Donald Trump renewed his threat of a shutdown last week, but in light of ceremonies for Bush, he said Saturday he was open to a short-term extension of spending talks if congressional leaders request one.

Watch: George H.W. Bush Lies In State in the Capitol Rotunda

“If they come, which they have, to talk about an extension because of President Bush’s passing, I would absolutely consider it and probably give it,” Trump told reporters on his flight back from the G-20 summit in Argentina.

The news of Bush’s death may have made it inevitable that lawmakers would need a stopgap spending solution, but prospects for solving the funding expiration were fading last week. 

The chamber could pass a short-term funding extension by voice vote, which doesn’t require a vote of the full chamber. 

Bush will lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda from Monday evening until Wednesday morning. Lawmakers from both chambers will participate in an arrival ceremony Monday evening, and the Capitol will be open around the clock to allow citizens to pay their respects.

The next votes in the House are scheduled for Monday, Dec. 10, at 6:30 p.m. In the Senate, the next roll call votes are expected Wednesday afternoon, but a time has not been set.

Niels Lesniewski contributed to this report. Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.