Washington Daybook: Eve of Sequestration

Photograph by Michael Zamora/Corpus Christi Caller-Times/AP Photo

Randy Wilson, first vice president of the local 2142 chapter of the American Federation of Government Employees, stands with other union members and government workers calling for action to avoid a sequestration on Feb. 27, 2013 during a rally outside of Congressman Blake Farenthold’s office in downtown Corpus Christi, Texas.

The Senate will take back-to-back procedural votes on Republican and Democratic proposals to replace the automatic spending cuts. Neither is likely to succeed, and the House isn’t scheduled to act on any measure, so sequestration would still start tomorrow, whatever Wall Street thinks about it (not much, according to market reaction.

By the White House’s rules, the sequestration order will go out at 11:59 pm Friday, EST, unless it is averted today or tomorrow.

House Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, and Minority leader Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, will hold dueling press conferences today to trade blame.

Also today, the House may send President Barack Obama a Senate-passed bill reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act. A Republican substitute that would rewrite provisions regarding American Indian tribes and sexual orientation appears to lack support and probably won’t be adopted.

Executives from Ford, Wal-Mart, Staples Inc. attend Climate Leadership conference on what companies, communities can do to address extreme weather events, global warming. Acting EPA Admin. Bob Perciasepe will speak. EU Commissioner Connie Hedegaard holds a media availability after meeting with administration officials and members of Congress on climate change policy.

Sen. Tom Harkin, Iowa Democrat, holds a news conference on his Wall Street Trading and Speculators Tax, which would apply a three basis point tax (or 3 cents on every $100 financial transaction.) Harkin and Rep. Peter DeFazio, a Democrat from Oregon, plan to reintroduce their measure in coming weeks, including an exemption for retirement and education savings.

FDA Office of Orphan Products Director Gayatri Rao delivers remarks at NIH’s “Rare Disease Day” conference. The Senate Finance Committee holds a hearing on modernization of Medicare and Medicaid. Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina holds a news conference on Israel.

And the National Press Club holds a reception and discussion celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Women’s suffrage march, which took place on March 3, 1913, and paved the way for the nineteenth amendment’s ratification in 1920.

 Cary O’Reilly, Laura Curtis and Chelsea Mes contributed to this report.

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