Tuesday is shaping up as a gut-check day on Capitol Hill.
All four House and Senate caucuses have closed-door meetings, during which leaders will take the temperature of their rank-and-file members, many of whom went home Saturday for the first time since the government shutdown began Oct. 1.
The key question will be what those lawmakers heard from their constituents: Did they feel a lot of pressure, one way or the other, to do something about the week-long shutdown? Barring any groundswell, leadership in both parties will probably choose to stay the course for the rest of this week.
Here’s a quick look at the day’s key events.
●9 a.m.: House Republicans meet. Speaker John A. Boehner (Ohio) will gather his troops in the Capitol basement room that has served as their crucible for the past three years and where he has been holding near-daily huddles as the crisis has unfolded. Topics will include their plan to continue sending mini-bills to the Senate to fund some critical government services; these are expected to include money for weather monitoring.Boehner and GOP leaders will address the media afterward.
●9 a.m.: House Democrats meet. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) will gather her caucus in a Capitol Visitor Center meeting room. They want to pressure Boehner to allow votes on a “clean” spending resolution and a debt-ceiling hike. Already, 195 Democrats have committed to supporting a funding resolution to reopen the government, and 187 have signed on to support raising the debt ceiling, without strings attached.
●Noon: Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) will hold his weekly “pen and pad” with the media.
●12:30 p.m.: Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.) and Senate Democrats will meet in the Mansfield Room on the second floor of the Capitol. Reid may use the luncheon to test the appetite for a clean debt-ceiling bill that could be voted on later this week.Reid will speak to the media afterward.
●12:30 p.m.: The Senate GOP meets. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) has hosted some rambunctious meetings lately, with veteran senators criticizing the tactics of first-year Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), the high-profile leader of the shutdown strategy. The Senate GOP is currently delaying a bill to pay furloughed federal workers, not because they oppose it but to force votes on some of the House bills to open pieces of the government.McConnell and his leadership team will also address the media later.