House cancels Friday votes for Charleston funeral services

House GOP leaders are canceling scheduled Friday votes so that lawmakers can attend funeral services in Charleston, S.C., after last week’s mass shooting at a historic black church.

Members arrived in Washington on Tuesday, and the House will finish its work for the week Thursday afternoon. Congress will be out of session next week as lawmakers head back to their districts for the July 4 holiday.

The only item officially on the schedule for Thursday is the annual 2016 funding bill for the Department of the Interior, which includes the Environmental Protection Agency. But votes related to President Obama’s trade agenda are also possible depending on how quickly the Senate sends the legislation to the House.

{mosads}Lawmakers were originally slated to begin debate on the Interior Department appropriations bill on Thursday and vote on final passage by Friday. Under the revised schedule, the House will proceed with debate on amendments Thursday and postpone further votes until the week of July 6, when lawmakers return from recess.

The Interior Department measure is the seventh individual 2016 appropriations bill to hit the House floor this year. The Senate, meanwhile, appears unlikely to pass a single one before the new fiscal year that starts Oct. 1, due to Democrats’ objections to sequestration budget caps.

Members of the South Carolina congressional delegation, along with many other lawmakers, are expected to attend funeral services in Charleston on Friday. President Obama will deliver the eulogy at the funeral of the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, pastor at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, who was one of the nine victims.

The House is expected to hold a moment of silence for the victims of the Charleston shooting during its Tuesday vote series at 6:30 p.m.


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