As House Republicans wrap up their annual issues conference, the House will be in pro forma session at 5:00 P.M. and will return tomorrow at 12 P.M.
The Senate will convene at 3:00 P.M. today and following Leader remarks, the Senate will resume consideration of the motion to proceed to Calendar #25 S.316, to repeal the authorizations for use of military force against Iraq, post-cloture. This will be the second procedural vote tonight to move toward on action on repealing both the 1991 and 2002 authorizations for the use of military force against the Iraqi government. Behind the scenes, Senate leaders will be discussing a potential deal to allow amendments to the narrow resolution and possibly an agreement on speeding up action on the measure. But there’s no guarantee of that.
The Senate continues to work short weeks and take up limited items as it grapples with absences. Just last week, five senators missed every vote, with several out for extended absences. And it doesn’t look like all 100 senators will be back this week. Both parties’ attendance issues are affecting Senate business, from crucial floor votes to the mundane business of committee hearings. The Senate last had all 100 members in attendance on August 7th, when Democrats passed their party-line energy, health care and tax bill. It’s still not clear when senators can expect the return of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), who is recovering from a concussion, Senator John Fetterman (D-Pennsylvania), who is receiving treatment for depression or Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California), who is battling shingles. The Senate has been in recess for a total of nearly four weeks so far this year, and there’s an upcoming two-week Easter recess in April. And while senators typically fly in on Monday nights and work until Thursday afternoons, they’ve pushed their arrivals to Tuesday both this week and last.