As Hurricane Florence is edging closer to delivering incalculable destruction to the Carolinas, House Republicans are struggling to ensure that Representatives from those states will be available for congressional business.
Members are advised that — due to the important nature of votes expected on the Floor and in committee this week — there are no changes to the House schedule at this time, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who controls the House floor schedule, emailed lawmakers.
Members are encouraged to be in DC and voting so that we can move through our legislative work as quickly as possible, McCarthy added. We will continue to monitor Hurricane Florence and send further updates as needed.
McCarthy’s email came shortly after the Hill reported that the GOP-controlled House was considering canceling votes for the rest of the week. But it remains to be seen if McCarthy’s call will actually be heeded. Republican Reps. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) and Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), and Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.) said they are planning to ride out the storm in their districts this week so they could better coordinate local, state and federal resources. And chief Deputy Whip Patrick McHenry and Republican Study Committee Chairman Mark Walker, two seemingly important Republican members of Congress, were monitoring the storm and had not decided whether to stay in their districts this week or return to Washington, their spokesmen said.
House Republicans only have until September 30th to pass a spending bill in order to avoid a government shutdown. But they’re also hoping to push through some of their agenda, including the bi-partisan water infrastructure bill
As it becomes increasingly clear that the GOP will most likely lose control of Congress in the upcoming midterm elections, they have even greater incentive to push through their agenda. Maybe they could use the time (they won’t) to accept climate change and enact legislation that fights it as much as possible, considering this colossal hurricane is the result of it.
Featured image via the Department of Defense.