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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Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said at an Axios virtual event Wednesday that the next coronavirus relief package needs to be as "narrowly focused" on COVID-specific issues as possible in order to resolve the differences between Republicans and Democrats.

Why it matters: Democrats and negotiators from the Trump administration remain far apart on a deal for the next tranche of relief. The fraught negotiations come as millions of Americans continue to suffer from the health and economic effects of the pandemic without the unemployment benefits from the first stimulus bill.

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Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) announced on Wednesday that he has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Davis, the top Republican on the House Administration Committee, said he has taken precautions against the virus, such as twice-daily temperature checks. He spoke to Republicans about staying safe after Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.) recently tested positive for the virus and spoke out against wearing face masks, Politico notes.

Nurses rally nationwide to demand protection amid pandemic

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Nurses took more than 200 active demonstrations inside and outside U.S. hospital facilities in at least 16 states and the District of Columbia on Wednesday to demand full personal protective equipment and federal government action.

Driving the news: National Nurses United (NNU) members are demanding that the Senate pass the HEROES Act, House Democrats' $3 trillion pandemic recovery package, which they said would protect health care workers by ensuring domestic production of PPE through the Defense Production Act.