The House of Representatives could return to the Capitol in two weeks, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said on Thursday.
Shortly after plans were dropped to return to session next week, amid concerns of a growing number of CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus cases in the District of Columbia, Pelosi said that the House may return to the Capitol as soon as the week of May 11.
“We’re not coming back this week. Our plan is to come back the following week,” Pelosi said at a press briefing in the Capitol.
The House, along with the Senate, was set to reconvene on Monday, May 4. However, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), the House majority leader, announced the reversal of the decision on Tuesday, noting that he spoke with the House physician about legislators coming back.
“The House’s physician’s view was that there was a risk to members,” Hoyer told reporters on April 28. “We hope to come back very soon to consider the CARES2 legislation,” he added, referring to another stimulus package that is being considered in a bid to offset some economic losses suffered as states have maintained stay-at-home orders.
The House and Senate voted last week to pass a measure that replenished several funds within the $2.2 trillion CARES Act that was passed in late March, punctuated by several lawmakers wearing masks, including Pelosi, on the House floor.
Pelosi told reporters that while the Democratic-majority House of Representatives plans to return to session in two weeks, this could change, noting that lawmakers are “at the mercy of the virus.”
The Republican-run Senate returns on May 4 after an extended recess.
When asked Thursday about Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) decision to reconvene Monday to advance judicial and executive branch nominees, Pelosi responded: “We’re 430 members, the decision was made on the strength of our numbers and people coming together.”
“Now, what they advised the Senate, I don’t know. They are 100, we’re four times that. … I can’t speak for the Senate, I just know what our responsibility is in the House.”
Congress has not met in regular session since last month, though it has passed major CCP virus relief bills worth nearly $3 trillion.
Although the full House is not returning next week, an appropriations committee plans to meet on Wednesday to discuss the government’s CCP virus response. Pelosi noted that other “smaller” panels, such as the House Small Business Committee, could also meet, if members adhere to social distancing guidelines.
Jack Phillips and Reuters contributed to this report.