UPDATED 2:07 PM PT — Sunday, May 3, 2020
Senators, who have been preparing their fighting points for the next coronavirus relief plan, are expected to return to Washington on Monday. Before adjourning in mid-April, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the upper chamber is looking to limit a new round of big spending on coronavirus aid, due to concerns over the national debt.
“My view is we’ve gone so far on the national debt here that the next time we address this issue, the Senate should be back in session,” stated McConnell. “Fully up and running with everybody involved in discussion.”
According to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democrats are seeking up to $1 trillion for state and local governments in the next coronavirus bill. $3 trillion in total relief aid has already been passed by Congress.
“To the extent that we can keep the states and localities sustainable, that’s our goal. And by the way, that money is not just for one year. That could be for as much as three years, maybe even four in certain cases, so it’s over time.” – Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House
Before their break, senators said they expected to restart confirmation hearings for the president’s judicial and executive branch nominees when they reconvened. They will be reviewing Judge Justin Walker for the D.C. Circuit Court and Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
The Senate will reportedly resume its schedule while ensuring members are taking steps to limit the spread of the virus, including social distancing and mask-wearing. Last week, Sen. McConnell said, “If people on the front lines are willing to work during the pandemic, Congress should be as well.”
If it is essential for doctors, nurses, healthcare workers, truck drivers, grocery-store workers, and other brave Americans to keep carefully manning their duty stations, then it is essential for Senators to carefully man ours and support them. We are reconvening next week. pic.twitter.com/XNmJGkGjcW
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) April 27, 2020
Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently stated the House is still assessing when they will be returning and emphasized lawmakers’ health is still at risk.