Apr 29, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Dianne Feinstein urges McConnell not to recall Senate during pandemic

Senate Judiciary Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, speaks as Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz testifies

Sen. Dianne Feinstein on Capitol Hill in December. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) sent a letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) Wednesday calling on him to not recall sessions in the chamber amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Why it matters: McConnell said Monday that the Senate will reconvene on May 4 as it begins to consider the next coronavirus stimulus package. Feinstein at 86 is the oldest member of the Senate. She asked him to allow the chamber to continue working remotely "in the interest of public health and sending the right message to the nation."

Driving the news: Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) tested positive for COVID-19 before the Senate recessed in late March.

  • "Since then, at least eight Capitol Police officers and 11 workers with the Architect of the Capitol have tested positive," Feinstein noted in her letter. "Clearly the coronavirus is present at the Capitol."
"Bringing 100 Senators from around the country, including many coronavirus hotspots, along with many more staff, credentialed press, and others, to this environment risks all of us. It also sends the wrong message to the American people, most of whom are being asked or directed to stay at home."
— Excerpt from Feinstein's letter
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