Senators will return to Washington next week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Monday.
Senators will return “one week from today,” he announced. “We will modify routines in ways that are smart and safe, but we will honor our constitutional duty to the American people and conduct critical business in person.”
After passing the $2.2 trillion CCP virus relief package in late March, the Senate dispersed. The body was scheduled to vote on April 20 but the return date was pushed back due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Senate passed a bill that included billions more for a small business loan program last week but some lawmakers missed the voice vote.
McConnell said earlier this month that the full Senate wasnt expected back in Washington until at least May 4, citing the country working together “to flatten the curve,” or the peak of CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus cases.
Some lawmakers have pushed for an earlier return, but the rejoining wont happen for another seven days.
McConnell said senators couldnt continue to not attend to their duty while doctors, nurses, truck drivers, and grocery store workers, among others, carried out their jobs.
The top Republican in Congress said the Senate should focus on taking concrete steps to strengthen the U.S. response to the pandemic, highlighting “a tangle of federal and state laws” that he said could lead to “opportunistic lawsuits” against small businesses owners and healthcare professionals.
The issue was partially addressed in the latest package but Congress will need to expand and strengthen protections, he said.
“Republicans will proudly insist on these and other strong, pro-certainty, pro-growth reforms throughout any and all future discussions,” he said, while criticizing “tangential left-wing daydreams.”