Congress initially planned to get back to work by April 20, but that’s starting to feel like a pipe dream, Politico reports. Now, it’s anybody’s guess when lawmakers will return to Capitol Hill, as they, like the rest of the United States, wait out the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Nothing has officially changed — April 20 is still the date on the docket, but resignation to the contrary seems to have set in among members of Congress. After all, President Trump, who once believed the U.S. economy would be “raring to go” again by April 12, just extended the federal government’s social distancing guidelines until the end of April. “That’s sort of an aspirational goal, but I think it’s obviously subject to radical change based on circumstances,” said Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.). “April 20 is what, three weeks away? That seems a little early based on the pace of this crisis.”
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said “it’s pretty hard to predict” when lawmakers will return, while his colleague Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) said Congress should “lead by example” and keep things remote for now.
Capitol Hill has shown itself to be pretty susceptible to the spread of the coronavirus after five members of the House tested positive for COVID-19, including Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.), who tested positive Monday, just days after she spoke on the House floor. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) also came down the virus. So, staying away certainly seems to make sense for the foreseeable future. Read more at Politico. Tim O’Donnell