House Democrats Won’t Return To Washington Next Week After All; Senate Set To Reconvene Monday
It looks like Nancy Pelosi will be forced to plow through ice cream from her the forseable future after House Democrats changed their minds on Tuesday about returning to Washington next week over fears about whether it’s safe to return to the Capitol during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We will not be meeting next week,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) told reporters, adding “The House physician’s view was that there was a risk to members that was one he would not recommend taking.”
The House was originally slated to return next Monday, however the Capitol Physician warned that Washington D.C. has yet to ‘flatten the curve.’
Hoyer said that House leaders will instead wait to call members back to Washington when the next round of coronavirus relief legislation is ready for a vote. House members have gathered en masse in the Capitol twice in the last several weeks since the social distancing restrictions began to vote on bills to respond to the crisis, but only returned in session for a day at a time.
Hoyer acknowledged that it would be more “dangerous” for lawmakers to stay in Washington for extended amounts of time, like they typically do, than it is for members to be in the Capitol for a short period of time –The Hill
“So under those circumstances, we have decided that we will not come back next week but we will come back very soon to pass the [next] piece of legislation. And at that point in time, we will be asking members to return to Washington,” Hoyer added.
Meanwhile, discussions are underway between Hoyer, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), and leaders of the Rules and Administration committees as to how lawmakers can conduct business virtually while maintaining social distancing.
“We are going to be working in the interim on trying to facilitate committees meeting in a real way, but virtually, and provisions for the House of the Representatives to meet if in fact members cannot come back because of the virus,” said Hoyer.
According to the report, the Senate will still reconvene on Monday according to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who said on Monday that the upper chamber would “modify routines in ways that are smart and safe.”
Washington, D.C. remains under a stay-at-home order through at least May 15, along with many other states from which lawmakers would be traveling.
House officials established new safety protocols for the votes last week on an interim coronavirus relief bill to renew funds for the small business loan program and hospitals, as well as a measure to create a select committee to oversee the federal coronavirus response. The votes were staggered so that lawmakers voted in smaller groups based on alphabetical order.
Guidance from House officials that everyone wear face masks had mixed results. Most members of both parties wore masks, but some GOP lawmakers opted to forgo the advice. -The Hill
During a Monday conference call, Hoyer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told colleagues that they would proceed with a vote on allowing a form of remote voting – an idea which House Democratic leaders have warmed up to.
Tue, 04/28/2020 – 13:10
via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/3f0BKtm Tyler Durden