Below is note from FNC’s Chad Pergram (and he knows more about Capitol Hill than any 4 people added together!)
Urgent: User’s Manual to the House and Senate for Friday
Per Pergram-Capitol Hill
Two big things to watch for. A limited Sandy bill and a tabulation of the electoral college.
Around 10 am, the House will begin debate on a narrow, nearly $10 billion bill to infuse the flood insurance program with cash after hurricane Sandy. This is the first wave of a new set of legislation that House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) intends to complete on January 15 in lieu of the broader bill that they imploded late in the last Congress earlier in the week.
They are treating this bill as a “suspension,” meaning it has limited debate time in exchange for needing a two-thirds majority of those voting later this morning.
The Senate then plans to approve the bill by unanimous consent.
Then…the House and Senate meet in the House chamber at 1 pm et for a Joint Session of Congress to certify the electoral college and deem President Obama the next president.
Senators will actually walk over to the House chamber and they will bring the electoral votes over to the House in mahagony boxes. We should have video of this from Will Rogers, et al.
As it is a Joint Session, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Vice President Biden preside (just like State of the Union). They tally the votes from each state.
Watch for potential “faithless” electors. These are electors from a given state who don’t vote for whom the state voted for. There have only been 11 in history. We last had a faithless elector in 2004 as an elector from DC protested the slate of votes from Ohio.
If there is a challenge to a state’s slate of electors, the House and Senate then meet in separate sessions to adjudicate the state’s returns in question and then ultimately votes. The final decision is up to the House and Senate.
That has not happened in 2004 when there was a challenge to Ohio’s slate.
We expect this to be low drama compared to 2000 or 2004.
However, as they consider the electoral college today, there is a joke circulating around the Capitol that Gallup shows Romney is surging in Ohio.
Senior Producer for Capitol Hill