Tuesday in politics: National Prayer Service, debt limit hearing and more

Laura E. Davis

It’s back to business in Washington on Tuesday, the day after President Barack Obama’s second inauguration. But the inaugural festivities aren’t over quite yet—in the morning, the president, Vice President Joe Biden, first lady Michelle Obama and second lady Jill Biden attend the National Prayer Service at the Washington National Cathedral. Later, they’ll go to the Staff Inaugural Ball.

On Capitol Hill, the House Rules Committee is holding an emergency hearing on legislation introduced Monday that aims to temporarily suspend the debt limit, allowing the government to borrow as necessary to pay its bills through May 18. The deal offered by Republicans, announced last week, demands that the Senate pass a budget, or lawmakers’ salaries will be withheld. A House vote on the bill is scheduled for Wednesday.

Also on Tuesday, the Democratic National Committee will hold a vote for party chair. Obama has said he’d like to see the current chairwoman, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, remain in her post.

And then there is this: Tuesday is the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, which established a woman’s constitutional right to abortion. The decision remains controversial today, with efforts from state legislatures all over the country to pass laws restricting abortion rights and the American people still divided on whether or not high court’s decision should be overturned. The annual anti-abortion “March for Life” will be held Tuesday in Washington.

And this: Tuesday is also the fourth anniversary of Obama signing an executive order vowing to close the American military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, within a year. The controversial detention camp, which was opened during George W. Bush’s presidency, is still in operation today.

Sources: AP, Reuters