US Congress session to start next week despite COVID-19 concerns

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West side view of the United States Capitol building.

Washington– The US Congress, which has been mostly on recess for the past several weeks, will come back into session next week despite coronavirus concerns, the lower and upper chamber announced separately.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced on a conference call with House Democrats on Monday that the chamber will come back into session on May 4, hours after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that the upper chamber would return the same day, Xinhua news agency reported.

“Senators will return to Washington D.C. one week from today. We will modify routines in ways that are smart and safe, but we will honour our constitutional duty to the American people and conduct critical business in person,” McConnell said in a statement.

The move comes as many Democrats have been urging leadership to make rule changes so that Congress can operate virtually without lawmakers and staff gathering in person and potentially risking contagion, said a The Hill report.

At least six members of Congress have tested positive for the coronavirus, as well as a handful of staff and nearly a dozen construction workers renovating one of the House office buildings, according to the report. (IANS)

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