Adam S. Olsen- Washington, D.C.
January 14, 2022

Both the House and the Senate are not in session today.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) said Thursday evening the Senate will delay its scheduled January recess and take up voting legislation on Tuesday despite major obstacles that appear to have closed off a path for Democrats to move forward.  Leader Schumer delayed the vote, which he’d pledged to hold by the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday on Monday, citing COVID-19 and an impending winter storm that may hit Washington, D.C. this weekend.  Democratic Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii announced on Thursday that he had tested positive for COVID earlier this week, which complicated Democrats’ timeline.  Once Republican Senators block the election bill from advancing, as is anticipated, Schumer said the chamber will vote on a change to the Senate rules, which is also expected to fail.  His announcement comes after President Joe Biden met with Democratic Senators Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona) on Thursday evening in a push for the passage of voting legislation.  Biden had “a candid and respectful exchange of views about voting rights” with the two senators, according to a statement from a White House official later that night.  But both Manchin and Sinema had made clear publicly earlier in the day that there had been no change in their position against changing Senate rules to clear the way for voting legislation to pass with a simple majority with Senator Sinema delivering a somewhat muddled speech on her views yesterday afternoon on the Senate floor.

When the Senate next convenes at 12:00 Noon on Tuesday, January 18th the plan is for the Senate to begin consideration of the House Message to accompany H.R.5746, which is the legislative vehicle for the voting rights legislation with Senator Schumer expected to make a motion to concur in the House amendment to the Senate amendment to H.R.5746, with an amendment, and file cloture on the motion.  The voting rights cloture vote should occur during Wednesday’s session of the Senate.  The Senate will likely be in session most of next week as the chamber works on voting rights legislation and is also expected to continue work on nominations.

The House will reconvene for votes at 6:30 P.M. on Tuesday, January 18th.

Adam S. Olsen, Washington, D.C.