Senate delays vote to confirm Biden’s DHS pick amid snowstorm


An East Coast snowstorm is scrambling the start of the Senate’s week.

A final vote to confirm Alejandro Mayorkas, President Biden’s pick to lead the Department of Homeland Security, is being pushed from Monday at 5:30 p.m. to Tuesday due to inclement weather, a leadership aide confirmed. 

The East Coast is currently getting walloped by a snowstorm, with snow potentially lingering until Tuesday.

While Washington, D.C., received only a few inches of snow on Sunday, according to The Washington Post, parts of the northeast are expected to get more than a foot of snow. The National Weather Service is predicting that New York City could get up to 22 inches by Tuesday morning.

The Senate held an initial vote for Mayorkas on Thursday, where he defeated a GOP filibuster. But the Senate struck a deal to hold his final confirmation vote on Monday, allowing senators to travel back to their home states for the weekend. 

The delay comes amid what is shaping up to be a hectic week in Washington as Democrats prepare to pave the way for coronavirus legislation.

The House will vote this week on a budget resolution, the first step to bypassing the Senate’s 60-vote filibuster by using reconciliation.

Senate Democrats are also hoping to pass the budget resolution this week, though it was already shaping up to be an aggressive timeline even before the snow delay. 

Passing a budget in the Senate includes holding a vote-a-rama, a marathon session where any senator who wants to force a vote on an amendment can do so.

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) hasn’t yet publicly locked his caucus in to using reconciliation to pass coronavirus relief. 

But he’s warned Democrats will go that route if they aren’t able to get buy-in for 10 Senate Republicans on a deal that would closely resemble Biden’s $1.9 trillion proposal. 

“Our preference is to make this important work bipartisan—to include input, ideas, and revisions from our Republican colleagues, or bipartisan efforts to do the same. But if our Republican colleagues decide to oppose this urgent and necessary legislation, we will have to move forward without them,” Schumer said from the Senate floor late last week.

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