With Washington having been hit by three major snowstorms in quick succession, both the House and Senate left Washington last week with much unfinished business facing them, and will not reconvene until after the Presidents Day recess on Feb. 22.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) acknowledged that the heavy snowfall Washington was impeding his efforts to bring up a jobs bill. The bill will include a one-year extension of biodiesel tax incentives. While Reid did not detail what would be in the final package, he did say it would include an extension of the highway trust fund and would not include a provision dealing with the estate tax.
Over in the House, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) scrapped work for the remainder of last week and sent the House home. Hoyer said the winter snows in the D.C. area have made airlines reluctant to send planes to Washington, which in turn makes it more difficult for members to get back and vote. Instead, he said House lawmakers would return from the week-long President's Day break a day earlier than planned (Feb. 22) and stay in session a day later than previously planned that week (Feb. 26). In other words, Hoyer has scheduled a five-day House workweek which is a relatively rare occurrence this early in a session.