House members are warned that they may have to work five days a week after the coronavirus crisis is over to help clear the backlog of legislation piled up during the shutdown.
‘To make up for lost time, the House of Representatives can meet in weeks previously planned as District Work Periods, and four-day weeks can become five-day weeks. Although we lost the legislative days, we have not reduced the amount of work we have to do, “Democratic leader Steny Hoyer wrote in a letter from Dear Colleague on Tuesday.
“I urge you to keep your schedule very flexible,” he advised.
House members are warned that they may have to work five days a week during the coronavirus crisis
“We have lost the legislative days, we have not reduced the amount of work we have to do,” said Democratic leader Steny Hoyer in a letter to colleagues
The decision could harm lawmakers in tough reelection games, as the House typically takes long breaks in the fall to have members campaigned for re-election.
Lawmakers typically work in Washington, D.C., for three or four days and spend the rest of their time in their districts. And the current calendar most of October through November election is set as ‘district work’ period. The last votes are scheduled for Friday, October 2, with members returning on Monday, November 16.
However, that could change because of the coronavirus, which has suspended the work of the legislature.
It is unclear when lawmakers will be able to make the trek safely from their home state to Capitol Hill.
According to Hoyer’s message, legislators are scheduled to be in session this week, but members of the House have been told that Congress is unlikely to meet before April 20.
And he assured lawmakers that the leadership would seek advice from medical experts on when to return to Washington, D.C.
The biggest job on the board of legislators when they return is the federal budget. Typically a process that takes months to go through hearings and credits, things can go at warp speed this year.
The fiscal year ends on September 30. A temporary spending package could be adopted to extend that deadline and give legislators more negotiation time.
Capitol Hill essentially shut down after lawmakers approved the $ 2.2 trillion corona virus economic stimulus package last week. Several members of the House returned to Washington, D.C. to vote on the measure, but promptly left again.
The building itself is closed to visitors until May 1.
All food services in House Office Buildings – including the main cafeteria in the Longworth House Office Building and the ever-popular Dunkin Donuts – are closed.
The small Capitol market in the basement of the Capitol is only open for half a day.
The dry cleaning is closed, as is the barber shop in the house and the shoe polish, according to a joint message from Arms Sergeant Paul Irving and the house’s administrative director, Philip Kiko, to all staff dated Tuesday.
Capitol Hill essentially shut down after lawmakers approved the $ 2.2 trillion coronavirus economic stimulus package last week
Home speaker Nancy Pelosi stayed in Washington, D.C. in case she was needed to negotiate additional coronavirus laws
Most convention employees live in Washington, D.C. or in the suburbs of Maryland or Virginia – all areas that have issued residence permits.
Employees were encouraged to telework, but were told they would be considered “essential” workers if they had to come to the Capitol.
The U.S. Capitol police have told local authorities that travel to the Capitol is allowed, Irving told staff on Monday.
In the event that a member or staff member is unable to telework and finds it necessary to travel to the Capitol Complex, the U.S. Capitol Police has already communicated to all local law enforcement agencies the essential nature and responsibility of the legislator under section I of the US Constitution, “he said.
“For your health and safety, and for the health and safety of those around you, I encourage you to stay at home and telework where possible. However, if you need access to your office or workplace, the United States Advisory Police Agency, along with the text of the orders from the governors and mayor, allows anyone who needs to travel or commute to work, “Irving said.
The U.S. Capitol is closed to tourists until May 1
Food services are closed in the House Office Buildings, including the popular Dunkin Donuts
Several lawmakers have shown symptoms of the coronavirus. Three members of the House and one senator tested positive.
But while most lawmakers have returned to their district, speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate leader Mitch McConnell have remained in Washington DC in case they are needed to negotiate additional help to fight the corona virus.
“I hope that in this next bill, we will be able to address the concerns of our state and local governments. That is absolutely essential. We need to do more. We need to do more through our probationary period, through our tax law and through policies and also through the fact that we need to do more to help the state and local authorities with the challenges they face. be huge, “Pelosi said on MSNBC’s” Morning Joe “Tuesday morning.