Things can always change in a hurry, but the House is leaving Washington Thursday to return on Monday — unless, of course members are needed to vote on something to end the partial government shutdown, say, over the weekend.
During their weekly colloquy to lay out the schedule for the coming week, Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer and Minority Whip Steve Scalise bantered back and forth about the shutdown, assigning blame to one another before getting down to the brass tacks of when the chamber will need to be back next week.
Hoyer and Scalise talked at length about the government shutdown, border security and fiscal 2019 appropriations. Hoyer pointed out that House Republicans were not able to fund fiscal 2019 DHS operations during the 115th Congress, and suggested that only a last-second attempt was made in late December.
Scalise blamed Senate Democrats for holding up the process when Republicans were in the majority and urged Democratic leadership to come to the table and negotiate, to which Hoyer replied that they will not negotiate while the president and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hold the government “hostage.”
Once the blame game had concluded, Hoyer gave the schedule, with the caveat that, if needed, members would be summoned back to the Capitol if there were shutdown-ending votes.
Otherwise, the schedule looks like this:
- Monday — The chamber meets at noon for morning hour, 2 p.m. for legislative business, and votes postponed until 6:30 p.m.
- Tuesday — Meets at 10 a.m. for morning hour, noon for legislative business.
- Wednesday — Meets at 10 a.m. for morning hour, noon for legislative business.
- Thursday — Meets at 9 a.m. for legislative business, with last votes expected no later than 3 p.m.