Steve Scalise: ‘No Good Excuse’ for Nancy Pelosi to Shut Down House over Coronavirus

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi speaks during her weekly press conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, March 5, 2020. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) explained how House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) could reconvene the House while implementing social distancing and other safety measures regarding the coronavirus, pointing to the White House and various businesses as illustrations of such operations. He offered his remarks on Wednesday’s edition of SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Daily with host Alex Marlow.

“What is the logic behind the Congress staying home at this moment [and] not coming back to Washington?” asked Marlow.

Scalise replied, “For whatever reason, Speaker Pelosi and her majority want to just sit back in San Francisco or wherever else they’re at and write bills in secret.”

Last week, the House of Representatives carried out votes on legislation in small groups to reduce risks of coronavirus transmission. Scalise said, “We showed last week [how] Congress can come back to work safely. This is not about trading off safety. It’s about being smart. We had a vote where it took a little over an hour, and we were able to bring everybody into the House Chamber in groups, so there were no more than ten people around voting at any particular moment. Everybody was socially distancing.”


Congress should prioritize the “full, safe recovery and reopening of our economy,” Scalise stated, “That’s what Congress should be doing, leading by example, working with President Trump, who’s there in the White House working himself with his whole team and still getting the job done safely. … Why can’t Congress be doing the same thing? Speaker Pelosi, I think, dropped the ball on this.”

Marlow remarked, “The establishment media has been in the White House press briefing room — one of the smallest rooms on planet Earth — without masks on, badgering the president for months. They seem to be able to operate safely. Why can’t the congress operate safely?”

Scalise responded, “There’s no good excuse for it, and nobody’s talking about trading off safety of our health versus safety of our economy. Look at grocery stores, for example. People have been going to grocery stores since this outbreak started.”

Scalise highlighted social distancing guidelines applied by grocery stores and other businesses, including clear plastic screens between customers and cashiers.

“You can absolutely open up more segments of the economy safely,” determined Scalise. “Congress should be leading the way on this,” describing operational practices used last week that allowed representatives to vote on the House floor while maintaining social distancing. Committees could similarly carry out public business while implementing social distancing and allowing for mask-wearing, he added.

Breitbart News Daily broadcasts live on SiriusXM Patriot 125 weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Eastern.

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