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Pelosi Skips Saturday Votes for Wedding Anniversary

Pelosi and her husband, Paul, in a 2007 photo. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Pelosi and her husband, Paul, in a 2007 photo. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It felt like just another busy day on Capitol Hill on Saturday, despite the rare weekend session. House leaders, members and staff were all on hand, ready to vote on legislation to potentially avert a government shutdown on Sept. 30.

There was one key player missing: Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

The Democratic leadership press shop kept reporters’ inboxes well-stocked throughout Saturday, slamming Republicans for their new plan to delay implementation of Obamacare and dismantle the medical device tax as part of a short-term continuing resolution.

The caucus also planned on huddling in a closed-door meeting on Saturday evening in advance of late-night votes on the various amendments to the CR that would then be sent back to the Senate.

The California Democrat, however, was otherwise engaged, celebrating her 50th wedding anniversary with her husband, Paul, at a “long-scheduled event.”

“Speaker Boehner has told me he has the votes for his proposals on his side of the aisle and that he will not need our help,” Pelosi wrote in a letter to colleagues on Saturday. “I have been in contact with our leadership team and Members, and we appreciate the united front from Members as we proceed.

“I look forward to seeing you tomorrow,” she concluded. However, the House isn’t expected to return on Sunday, if they can wrap up votes Saturday night as expected.

Pelosi wasn’t the only Washington politician who enjoyed a day off during this week’s government shutdown debate. Sens. Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, and Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., missed Friday’s Senate vote on the CR because of important family weddings. And on Saturday, President Barack Obama spent the day golfing, while the House scrambled to move the ball forward three days before funding is set to expire.

Normally quick to judge their counterparts, Republicans didn’t feel the need to quibble with Pelosi’s choice of family over work on Saturday.

“Happy anniversary and congratulations on an amazing achievement!” said Doug Heye, a spokesman for Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va.
Matt Fuller contributed to this report.