Apr 21, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Top House Republican presses Pelosi on plan to reopen Congress

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) sent Speaker Nancy Pelosi a letter on Tuesday calling on her to establish a plan to open Congress as the session enters its fourth week of suspension due to the coronavirus.

The state of play: Both the House and Senate previously said lawmakers would not travel back to D.C. any sooner than May 4. McCarthy's letter also comes as protests are unfolding across the country for states to reopen and lift shelter-at-home orders.

  • House Rules Committee Chair Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) put forward a plan for "proxy voting" last week that would allow House members who can't make it to the Capitol to direct another member to vote on their behalf.
  • McCarthy urged Pelosi to explain when members would be able to provide input on McGovern's plan and how it would "avoid potential abuses of power."

What he's saying:

"In my view, conducting the business of the People's House is the definition of 'essential work.' ... It is imperative we outline a pathway forward that ensures transparency and regular order for all members — not centralized decision-making by a select group of leadership and staff that reduces the role of representative to merely voting 'yea' or 'nay' on pre-drafted proposals."

Read the letter.

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

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