House of Representatives Won’t Meet Before May 15: Majority Leader
Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said in an update that “pending introduction of legislation, it is possible that the House may meet this week.”
But, heded, the meeting would take place “no earlier” than Friday.
Members will be given 72 hours notice of when they would need to return to Washington.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said this month that she hoped to convene the House as soon as the week of May 11 but she has held off from committing to a return date.
“We’re going to open the house when the sergeant at arms and the Capitol physician say that we can come,” she told reporters on May 7. Asked over the weekend where she stood on reopening the government, Pelosi said during an appearance on Gray TV’s “Full Court Press” that she supports ramping up testing and contact tracing, or a program to identify people who came into contact with others who tested positive for the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.
She also mentioned wanting to know ” the demographics of who is getting hit hardest in all of this to prepare us for the cure and the vaccine, which we pray is on the horizon.”
Republicans have pushed Democrats to end the House’s prolonged break. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said last week he believes members are essential workers.
“We’ve proven that we can come back,” McCarthy said on Fox News’s “Life, Liberty & Levin.”
“If you look at the history of America, Congress has met … during every war, during every crisis, during 9/11,” he said.
Workers designated essential in states across the nation were told to keep working through the COVID-19 pandemic while others were furloughed, fired, or shifted to remote work.
The Senate returned to session on May 4, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) asserting senators couldn’t continue to remain outside Washington while frontline workers like doctors carried out their jobs.
Congress is working on a phase four package aimed at relief from lockdown measures, which caused an economic downturn. Hoyer said that conversations surrounding the package are ongoing, as well as a rule change related to remote work.
Pelosi said Sunday that Democrats are pushing for extra food stamp funding as well asditional money for state and local governments. They also want to include more money for individuals, with possibilities including more direct payments or boosts to unemployment insurance and the Paycheck Protection Program.