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Politics House won't return until stimulus package is ready

21:25  19 march  2020
21:25  19 march  2020 Source:   politico.com

Senate leaving D.C. until April 20 after coronavirus stimulus vote

  Senate leaving D.C. until April 20 after coronavirus stimulus vote The Senate will leave town after passing a coronavirus stimulus package and not return until April 20, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced late Wednesday night. © Greg Nash Senate leaving D.C. until April 20 after coronavirus stimulus vote The Senate unanimously passed a massive stimulus bill that costs approximately $2.2 trillion. McConnell announced shortly before it started that the Senate will not have its next roll call vote until April 20. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

House Democratic leaders on Thursday announced that lawmakers will not be required to return to Washington until the next stimulus package for the coronavirus pandemic is ready for a vote, part of an attempt to limit exposure to the virus among members of Congress.

Steny Hoyer wearing a suit and tie: House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. © J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer informed members that he will be “adjusting” the House schedule to require less time at the Capitol and halt the virus’ spread among lawmakers — at least two of whom have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

“It is my intention that the House will not return to session until we are in a position to vote on the third piece of emergency legislation to respond to the economic impact of this crisis,” Hoyer said in a letter to Democrats.

Pelosi says House will review Senate coronavirus stimulus package

  Pelosi says House will review Senate coronavirus stimulus package House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Wednesday praised the Senate's sweeping, $2 trillion coronavirus relief package, but declined to say how the House would pass it."This bipartisan legislation takes us a long way down the road in meeting the needs of the American people," Pelosi said in a statement.She said the package did not go as far as a separate House bill but argued that "thanks to the unity and insistence of Senate and House Democrats, the bill has moved a great deal closer to America's workers."Pelosi said Wednesday that House Democrats will evaluate the package before deciding next steps.

Democratic leaders are also looking to reassure members who have grown increasingly anxious about the virus’ spread in the Capitol, and fear the situation could worsen if hundreds of members are forced to be in a single room together.

Hoyer confirmed that the House would “adjust our voting procedures” to comply with guidance from federal health agencies, which have strongly warned against all gatherings of more than 50 people. Democrats have considered ideas like holding the vote open longer to limit the number of lawmakers on the floor at one point.

The Maryland Democrat did not address the possibility of allowing members to vote remotely from their districts, an idea that has steadily gained traction — particularly among West Coast lawmakers — amid the rapidly intensifying outbreak.

McConnell warns coronavirus stimulus bill could be delayed for days

  McConnell warns coronavirus stimulus bill could be delayed for days Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) warned on Monday that a massive coronavirus stimulus package could be delayed for days unless every senator agrees to speed it up. McConnell's comments come after Senate Democrats blocked the coronavirus package on a key procedural hurdle for a second time. McConnell did not vote against the package - a procedural move that would have allowed him to bring it back up quickly.

“I share the concerns of many Members regarding the number of Members on the House Floor at any one time,” Hoyer said. “No decisions have been made on exactly what these changes will be, but we will be discussing all options.”

Speaker Nancy Pelosi has privately dismissed the idea of voting outside of the Capitol in past meetings, as have House GOP leaders, though lawmakers and aides have acknowledged that the situation is fluid.

Democratic leaders are expected to discuss the idea with their caucus on a conference call Thursday afternoon.

The push to allow remote voting has amplified in the last 12 hours, with two lawmakers — Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) and Ben McAdams (D-Utah) — each testing positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

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Nearly two dozen members have decided to self-quarantine after potential exposure to the virus, including several who had close contact with Diaz-Balart and McAdams on the floor or in various gatherings on Friday before the House left for recess.

But even before the two lawmakers were diagnosed, there was growing anxiety among House members and staff about the inevitability of the virus spreading on Capitol Hill. Several staffers had already tested positive in both chambers.

Reps. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), Katie Porter (D-Calif.) and Van Taylor (R-Texas) led a bipartisan letter on Wednesday night calling for remote voting, with signatures from more than 50 members.

“When it comes to social distancing and public health best practices, Congress should be an example, not an exception,” Porter wrote on Twitter.

Treasury secretary says tax filing deadline moved to July 15 .
Americans will have an additional three months to file their taxes amid the coronavirus pandemic, the US treasury secretary said on Friday."We are moving Tax Day from April 15 to July 15," Secretary Steven Mnuchin tweeted. "All taxpayers and businesses will have this additional time to file and make payments without interest or penalties.

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