Apr 28, 2020 - Politics & Policy

House cancels plan to return from recess next week

Steny Hoyer

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The House will not return from recess on May 4 as previously planned, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Tuesday.

Why it matters: The decision, which Hoyer said Democratic leaders made after consulting with the House physician, follows outcry from some members who had safety concerns. The Senate still plans to come back on May 4.

  • The number of coronavirus cases in D.C. are still rising, and two nearby counties are considered hotspots, Hoyer said. The House physician told Hoyer that "there was a risk to members that is one he would not recommend taking."
  • The majority leader added that the House will return once Congress and the Trump administration come closer to a deal on the next coronavirus relief package.

The other side: House Republicans have been pushing to return to the Hill, arguing that members of Congress are essential workers.

  • Hoyer told reporters that he hopes to come to an agreement with GOP leaders on how to continue committee work virtually, including hearings and markups.
  • Hoyer stressed that all members have been working daily to help their districts.

The big picture: Capitol Hill is a potential petri dish for the virus. Many lawmakers fit high-risk profiles because they're over 60, have underlying health conditions and are mixing in close quarters with staff and reporters after spending time in various cities across the country.

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