Where are congressional leaders as sequester begins?

March 1, 2013

The House and Senate adjourned Thursday evening with no plans to stave off $85 billion in budget cuts set to start Friday night.


Congressional leaders during a meeting with President Obama in 2011. (Alex Wong via Bloomberg)

As they left the U.S. Capitol, several rank-and-file members defended their departures by noting that congressional leaders would be staying behind to meet with President Obama and keep working on a deal. (Kudos to CNN's Dana Bash, who ambushed lawmakers as they raced for idling cars waiting outside the Capitol to rush them to the airport.)

So where are those congressional leaders this weekend? Not necessarily in Washington.Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) is staying at his home in the District, according to aides. But his counterpart, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), is headed home to Louisville, where he normally spends his weekends. Aides noted that he'll appear Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union."

In the House, Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) is "meeting with his constituents in Ohio" this weekend, according to a spokesman, while House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) also plans to hold "official events" back home in San Francisco, aides said. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) spent Friday at his Richmond office, and aides said he is leaving tonight for Selma, Ala., where dozens of lawmakers will gather this weekend to commemorate the 1965 "Bloody Sunday" march at the city's Edmund Pettus Bridge.

Everyone will be back in Washington by late Monday, when the Senate reconvenes. The House comes back into session Tuesday.

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Ed O’Keefe is covering the 2016 presidential campaign, with a focus on Jeb Bush and other Republican candidates. He's covered presidential and congressional politics since 2008. Off the trail, he's covered Capitol Hill, federal agencies and the federal workforce, and spent a brief time covering the war in Iraq.
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