Internal
For Immediate Release: 
May 13, 2020
Contact Info: 
Mariel Saez 202-225-3130
Dear Colleague:
 
Our Constitutional framers established a system of checks and balances in order to ensure that power would be shared equally among the branches of government and would always serve the interests of the people. Highlighting the importance of popular government, they used the first article of the Constitution to set forth the powers of the Congress, including the responsibility of the House of Representatives to ensure ‘the general welfare of the United States.’ Paramount in that responsibility is the duty to legislate in emergencies and ensure that those elected and appointed to execute the laws do so properly. 
 
Now, as we face the crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic, the House must do its duty in full and do so in a way that contributes to the safety and welfare of our people, not in a way that harms it. That is why I will bring a resolution to the Floor to ensure that the House can do its work in full using twenty-first century technologies to comply with social and physical distancing practices. Such technologies are already in wide use safely and effectively by millions of our fellow Americans and have been employed these past weeks by Members and committees in ways currently permitted. Other legislative bodies are successfully using these technologies during this crisis in statehouses across our country, and in foreign capitals around the world. If the House cannot engage in its full work now, during this crisis, we will not be able to live up to our Article I responsibilities in future crises. A failure to meet this moment and adapt with the use of new tools will lead to a sidelined legislative branch and an upset in the careful balance our framers enshrined in the Constitution. 
 
The House must rise to this challenge - and we will. I thank all the Members who have been working hard to ensure that the House continues to do its job throughout this pandemic. We will keep doing so, and I urge all Members on both sides of the aisle to come together and join in support of this resolution, demonstrating to the American people that their democratic government works for the people. 
 
Sincerely,

STENY H. HOYER
House Majority Leader