House cancels votes due to inclement weather amid race to avert shutdown

The House canceled votes Tuesday because of inclement weather as wintry conditions hit Washington, D.C., and areas across the country, shortening the chamber’s week as it races to avert a government shutdown by Friday’s deadline.

The office of House Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) announced Tuesday morning that the first votes of the week would now be around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday rather than 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.

The chamber, however, is still scheduled to debate a number of suspension bills Tuesday, but any requested roll call votes will be punted to Wednesday.

The Senate is still set to hold votes late Tuesday afternoon, though there will likely be a number of absences. The chamber is slated to hold the first procedural vote on legislation to avert a government shutdown, which must be signed into law by Friday at midnight to prevent a lapse in funding.

The vote comes days after congressional leaders rolled out a two-step continuing resolution to extend government funding into March ahead of Friday’s partial shutdown deadline. Once the Senate clears the legislation, the House is expected to consider the measure under the fast-track process known as suspension of the rules because of conservative opposition to the legislation.

If the two-part continuing resolution is not enacted by Friday at midnight, some agencies and programs would shut down.

The change in schedule for the House comes as a Winter Storm Heather leaves snow throughout the Northeast Tuesday, making it difficult for lawmakers to fly back to Washington for votes Tuesday evening.

A handful of members were also in Iowa on Monday supporting their preferred candidates in the first-in-the-nation caucus, where there were subzero temperatures and icy roads from snowstorms — difficult conditions to travel back to D.C. in.

As of 12:30 p.m. EST Tuesday, more than 1,880 flights within, into or out of the U.S. had been canceled for the day, according to FlightAware.

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