Updated Jan 16, 2024 - Politics & Policy

House cancels votes over snowstorm as spending deadline nears

Marines jog on a snowy and slick East Front of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 16. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images.

The House of Representatives canceled votes on a stopgap spending bill planned for Tuesday evening due to a winter storm that is expected to bring several inches of snow to D.C.

Why it matters: The delay will force lawmakers to work on a truncated schedule to keep federal agencies from shutting down – this time due to a lack of funding – on Jan. 19.

Yes, but: The Senate, which takes longer to pass legislation, still plans to move forward with its procedural votes on the stopgap bill on Tuesday night, a Senate leadership aide told Axios.

Driving the news: In an update sent out on Tuesday morning, House Majority Whip Tom Emmer's (R-Minn.) office said: "Members are advised that due to inclement weather conditions, votes are no longer expected in the House today."

  • The House is instead scheduled to meet early Wednesday afternoon to take a procedural vote on referring Hunter Biden for contempt of Congress.

What we're hearing: With thousands of flights across the country delayed or canceled due to the weather, many House members would have struggled to attend votes on Tuesday evening.

  • One lawmaker who lives in the Northeast – a short flight away from D.C. – described the status of their flight as "sketchy" as of Tuesday morning.
  • Senators are not immune, with multiple staffers telling Axios they expect high absences on Tuesday night as a result of flight disruptions.

Between the lines: House Republican leadership may still struggle with attendance after Tuesday. They have little margin for error.

  • House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) is working remotely for the month as he recovers from cancer, and House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) told colleagues on a Sunday night call that Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) is out for the week as he recovers from a car crash.
  • That leaves Republicans, who already had a razor-thin 220-213 majority, with even fewer votes to spare.

Zoom out: Over 120 million Americans across the continental U.S. were under wind chill warnings and advisories as of Monday as an Arctic blast brought snow to parts of the South that rarely experience it.

Editor's note: This story was updated with additional details throughout.

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