Apr 14, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Senate, House will not travel back to D.C. before May

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Tuesday that the Senate is not expected to travel back to Washington D.C. any sooner than May 4, as most of the country remains under stay-at-home orders.

Why it matters: The decision to postpone returning to the Senate comes amid a stalemate between Democrats and Republicans over increasing funds to the Paycheck Protection Program, a small business relief program mean to alleviate economic stress caused by the pandemic.

  • House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer also announced Monday that the lower chamber won't return to Congress before May 4.
  • Both the Senate and the House can still pass bills via unanimous consent, though it would mean just one lawmaker could block legislation by showing up to Congress to object. Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) has threatened to do so.

What they're saying:

"As the country continues working together to flatten the curve, following the advice of health experts, the full Senate is not expected to travel back to Washington D.C. sooner than Monday, May 4th. All members will receive at least 24 hours’ notice if this changes. This bipartisan decision reflects consultation with Leader Schumer and my colleagues in Senate leadership."
— Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

Go deeper: A high-stakes clash over coronavirus funding looms over Congress

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