- The Washington Times - Monday, May 11, 2020

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer told members Monday that the chamber will not reconvene before Friday this week.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was aiming to have lawmakers return sometime this week to vote on the Democratic-led CARES 2 package and possibly a proxy voting resolution. That massive package is still being worked on.

Mr. Hoyer explained that it’s still possible members come back but not until Friday. Leadership will provide 72 hours notice if they do need to return.

The House pushed off its return last week after consulting with the Capitol Physician about the health risks posed to members.

Republicans, however, argue that Congress should be taking the same risk as essential workers keeping the country running.

Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, California Republican, Rules ranking member Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma and Administration ranking member Rodney Davis of Illinois released a plan last week that would put members back in person on Capitol Hill but with social distancing at the root of the new policies.

They proposed creating a rotating schedule of committees — with an emphasis on those that would work on the National Defense Authorization bill, spending bills and coronavirus-related first — in larger rooms. This, they argued, would allow for a full debate on key issues while giving members space to spread out.

Democrats rejected that plan because it puts too much focus on committees and still puts members and Capitol staff at risk, Mr. Hoyer, Rules Chairman Rep. Jim McGovern of Massachusetts and Administration Chairwoman Zoe Lofgren argued.

“On substance, the proposal made by Leader McCarthy, Ranking Member Cole, and Ranking Member Davis falls woefully short of reopening the House for legislative business,” they wrote in a joint statement last week.

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