Despite Washington weather, Oberstar undeterred on holding hearing

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Two days after 2 to 3 feet of snow fell across the area, legislative business across much of Capitol Hill has stalled. The House canceled votes today, the weekly Senate caucus meetings were postponed at least a day and most committees are rescheduling hearings because members simply can’t get into Washington.

Rep. Collin Peterson’s Agriculture Committee postponed a Wednesday hearing, and its Thursday hearing is being reviewed, given forecasts of 12 to 20 additional inches of snow in the forecast — which is to begin falling sometime after noon.

“Members can’t get back at this point,” said Agriculture Committee spokeswoman April Slayton. Indeed, all three Washington-area airports canceled flights over the weekend and have currently plowed back to a limited schedule. However, Southwest has already canceled all afternoon and evening flights to Baltimore-Washington International, and more cancellations are expected to follow.

Someone tell that to Rep. Jim Oberstar, chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, who plans to be at today’s 2 p.m. Water Resources and the Environment Subcommittee hearing on Asian carp in the Great Lakes.

“This hearing will be held as scheduled regardless of the Federal Government’s operating status,” read a short, sweet and to-the-point message on the committee’s website.

“It’s pretty hard to explain to folks back home in Minnesota why you can’t go into work two days after the snow fell,” explained John Schadl, spokesman for Rep. Jim Oberstar.

The hearing will be broadcast online for those who can’t make it.

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