Pope Franics to Visit Washington DC

Pope Francis will visit Washington, DC Tuesday, September 22 through Thursday, September 24, including visits with President Obama and Congress. This will be the pope’s first stop during his three city visit to the United States. On Wednesday morning, September 23, Pope Francis will arrive at the White House for a State Arrival Ceremony. He will be the third pope to have ever visited the White House. There will be a short parade route between the Ellipse and a portion of the National Mall for the public to see the pope (11:00-11:30 a.m.) before he continues on to St. Matthew’s Cathedral to meet with the U.S. bishops. Pope Francis will canonize Blessed Junipero Serra, a Spanish Franciscan friar who founded a mission in Baja, California during a Mass at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Northeast DC. Coverage of the various events will be video broadcast live for public viewing on the grounds of the Washington Monument. On Thursday, September 24, Pope Francis will address a Joint Session of Congress, visit St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Northwest DC, and visit several Catholic charities associated with the Archdiocese of Washington. Note that all events, except the parade, are ticketed events and will require passing through security. During this time, the Federal Government is encouraging agencies to utilize flexible workplace options like telework, flex schedules, and leave.

Upcoming Congressional Meetings and Hearings

Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee: field hearing titled: “All Hands on Deck: Working Together to End the Trafficking and Abuse of Prescription Opioids, Heroin, and Fentanyl;” 2:00 p.m., New Hampshire Institute of Politics, Saint Anselm College, 100 Saint Anselm Drive, Manchester, N.H.; Sept 14

Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee: hearing titled “Achieving the Promise of Health Information Technology: Improving Care Through Patient Access to Their Records;” 10:00 a.m., 430 Dirksen Bldg.; Sept 16

Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee: hearing on pending veterans issues, including: S. 563 - A bill to establish the Physician Ambassadors Helping Veterans program to seek to employ physicians at the Department of Veterans Affairs on a without compensation basis in practice areas and specialties with staffing shortages and long appointment waiting times; S. 1450 - A bill to allow the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to modify the hours of employment of physicians and physician assistants employed on a full-time basis by the Department of Veterans Affairs; S. 1693 - A bill to expand eligibility for reimbursement for emergency medical treatment to certain veterans that were unable to receive care from the Department of Veterans Affairs in the 24-month period preceding the furnishing of such emergency treatment, and for other purposes; S. 1856 - A bill to provide for suspension and removal of employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs for performance or misconduct that is a threat to public health or safety and to improve accountability of employees of the Department, and for other purposes. 2:30 p.m., 418 Russell Bldg.;
Sept 16

Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Subcommittee on Primary Health and Retirement Security: hearing titled “Biosimilar Implementation: A Progress Report from FDA;” 10:00 a.m., 430 Dirksen Bldg.; Sept 17 (The only witness will be Janet Woodcock, M.D., Director, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.) House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee: hearing titled “Improving the Medicaid Program for Beneficiaries;” 9:00 a.m.; 2123 Rayburn Bldg.; Sept 18

House Homeland Security Oversight and Management Efficiency Subcommittee: hearing titled “Making DHS More Efficient: Industry Recommendations to Improve Homeland Security;” 10:00 a.m., 311 Cannon Bldg.; Sept 18

House Veterans’ Affairs Committee: hearing titled “A Call for System-Wide Change: Evaluating the Independent Assessment of the Veterans Health Administration;” 10:30 a.m., 334 Cannon Bldg.; Sept 30

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