While Speaker Pelosi and her Democratic colleagues insist that the House will not return to work this week, GOP leader Kevin McCarthy outlined a plan to get the lower chamber back in session safely. Reps. Tom Cole (R-OK) and Rodney Davis (R-IL) joined the top Republican in co-authoring the detailed plan.
“In the interim, a bipartisan taskforce has been convened — on which we are all serving — to further explore ways in which Congress can operate during this challenging time. While differences remain, it has become clear through our initial meetings that all members of our taskforce share several fundamental beliefs….As we enter this indeterminate period between outright mitigation and a return to normalcy, everyone recognizes that our typical ways of doing business will need to adjust. Simply put, Congress will look and feel different...However, we believe there is a pathway forward that enables the House to fully perform its key functions without compromising our shared values or sacrificing bedrock norms,” the GOP congressmen wrote.
The plan includes modifying the House's current procedural practices, a phased return of committees, a responsible use of technology and an implementation of mitigation practices to lower COVID-19 risks for House members.
Despite my call to Speaker Pelosi to establish a clear, safe, and effective plan for reopening the House of Representatives, she hasn't done so.— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) May 4, 2020
Here is my commonsense plan to reopen Congress and restore the voice of the people: https://t.co/hm2OKOLgU5
There is a pathway forward that enables the House to safely and fully perform its key functions for the American people without sacrificing bedrock norms. https://t.co/0X73DiFGtc— Rep. Tom Cole (@TomColeOK04) May 4, 2020
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) concluded last week that it was not safe for the House to return to session:
"I think most members are working harder than if they were at the Capitol....any thought that the members aren't working very hard trying to help their people with coronavirus is simply incorrect," Hoyer says. "The question is, can we get them back safely when needed?"— Emily Cochrane (@ESCochrane) April 28, 2020
!!! Hoyer says House will NOT come back on Monday, telling reporters he spoke to the House physician: "We made a judgment that we will not come back next week."— Emily Cochrane (@ESCochrane) April 28, 2020
Hoyer on the optics of the House being out while the Senate is in session:— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) April 28, 2020
As I understand it, the Senate is coming back to confirm judges and confirm executive appointments
While Speaker Pelosi delays the House's return, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) resumes the Senate's work on Monday.
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