Lawmakers Brave the Elements and Head to the Office

The weather outside is frightful, and the building inside is deserted.

But the Capitol’s snow day didn’t stop some lawmakers, particularly those from cold weather states, from coming to work. Senator Mark Begich (D-AK) was set to arrive this afternoon for a series of videoconferences. Begich’s press secretary Julie Hasquet says his constituents expect nothing less. “Alaskans think you shouldn’t let a snowstorm keep you home.”

Hasquet says the weather that is paralyzing DC is what Alaskans would consider a “Spring-type of snowstorm” back home. Staffers in Begich’s office also said that they would be upset if an Alaskan traveled all the way to Washington, DC only to find their Senator’s office was closed because of a bit of snow.

Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) also made the trip to the Capitol. When I asked him why he decided against working from home he replied that he was doing some things in the office earlier and was now on his way to do an interview on the Senate steps with Fox News Channel’s Bret Baier. You can catch that interview on Wednesday’s Special Report with Bret Baier at 6:00p Eastern.

On the House side there was even less activity. Many offices had three days worth of newspapers stacked at the front door. A lone light in a long hallway, Representative Baron Hill’s (D-IN) office had the door open. Inside the office Hill and his Chief of Staff John Zody were wrapping up some business. Zody said that most staffers were working from home and that phone calls to the DC office were being forwarded to Hill’s district offices in Indiana.

Asked if the weather was hurting their ability to do the job, Zody said the Congressman was tapping in to the values of his home district, “We’re in the southern part of the state so we don’t get as much snow, but we’re of pioneer heritage so we can handle it.”