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House GOP: Approval Of Special Olympics Torch Run Trumps Obama Address

It became clearer today why John Boehner this week became the first U.S. House Speaker in the nation's history to turn down a president's request to address a joint session of Congress.

The House has pressing business Wednesday evening, when President Obama asked to speak to members of Congress about his plans to goose the stagnant jobs market.

Pressing, as in:

Considering the extension of the "Generalized System of Preferences."

Contemplating the Civilian Service Recognition Act of 2011.

And authorizing use of the Capitol grounds for a Special Olympics torch run.

At least that's what's listed on next week's House agenda released this afternoon by Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia.

The agenda wouldn't, of course, mention the GOP presidential debate that's also scheduled Wednesday.

It does, however, indicate that the president will be speaking to the joint session at 7 p.m. on Thursday, when the important Wednesday business of the House will be history.

Have a look at the schedule here:

The pertinent information, from Cantor's schedule:

On Monday, the House is not in session.

On Tuesday, the House will meet at 10:00 a.m. in Pro Forma session.

On Wednesday, the House will meet at 2:00 p.m. for legislative business. Votes will be postponed until 6:30 p.m.

Legislation Considered Under Suspension of the Rules:

1) H.Con.Res. 67 - Authorizing the use of the Capitol Grounds for the District of Columbia Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run (Sponsored by Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton / Transportation and Infrastructure Committee)

2) H.R. 2061 - Civilian Service Recognition Act of 2011 (Sponsored by Rep. Richard Hanna / Oversight and Government Reform Committee)

3) H.R. 2832 - To extend the Generalized System of Preferences, and for other purposes (Sponsored by Rep. David Camp / Ways and Means Committee)

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Liz Halloran joined NPR in December 2008 as Washington correspondent for Digital News, taking her print journalism career into the online news world.