On Monday, March 30, 2020, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said that the House of Representatives (currently on a scheduled spring break along with the Senate) would not return before April 20. But the return date remains fluid. It is unlikely they would return earlier since the focus now is on the implementation of last week’s coronavirus #3 package. Thinking ahead, Hoyer also indicated that schedules, including scheduled breaks later in this year, might be rearranged to make up for any lost time. In reality, Congress is attempting to practice what all officials are preaching by not congregating. When the House of Representatives took the vote to pass package number three on Friday, March 27, the leadership spread out all 220 plus members between the floor space and all the house gallery space that is typically used by the public and press. As soon as a quorum was present on the floor and in the gallery, they began the debate. Members were carefully spread out, and common surfaces such as the lecterns were being wiped continuously down. The inability to be here creates a challenge for the Congress in attempting to monitor and guide the implementation of the $2 trillion coronavirus #3 package.
Last week Congresswoman Nadia Velázquez (D-NY) joined a growing list of lawmakers who have been personally infected or affected by the virus, including Congressman Joe Cunningham (D-SC), Congressman Mike Kelly (R-PA), Congressman Ben McAdams (D-UT) and Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL). Earlier Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) tested positive and had exposed several of his Senate colleagues before getting the final results of his test.