Internal
For Immediate Release: 
July 31, 2020
Contact Info: 
Mariel Saez 202-225-3130
Dear Colleague:
 
After eleven weeks of pushing Senate Republicans to take up the Heroes Act, they have left town without reaching agreement on COVID-19 legislation.  As I said on the Floor today, we will not start the August District Work Period until the Senate agrees to necessary COVID-19 relief to meet the health and economic challenges confronting our people that we can then send to the President. I am hopeful that Senate Republicans will reverse course soon and we can reach an agreement that can be quickly enacted.
 
I would like to take the opportunity to thank you all for your hard work and perseverance through a busy schedule under unprecedented circumstances.  In spite of the difficulties posed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Democratic-led House passed a long list of major bills that address critical national needs.  Following House passage of the Heroes Act in May, we returned in June under the provisions of H. Res. 965 in order to conduct the people’s business while taking responsible measures to keep the public, staff, and Members safe from COVID-19, including through the use of remote committee work and proxy voting on the Floor.  As a result of the rule changes provided by that resolution, committees were able to meet virtually, so that we could write and pass major pieces of legislation For the People.
 
During the work period at the end of June, we passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act and legislation to admit Washington, D.C., as the fifty-first state.  We also approved the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act, keeping Democrats’ promise to the American people to protect, strengthen, and expand the health care reforms that brought coverage to millions, lowered costs, and ended discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions.  In addition, the House passed the Emergency Housing Protections and Relief Act to protect renters and homeowners from evictions as well as the Moving Forward Act, delivering a major infrastructure package.
 
In July, the House met its responsibility to the troops who defend our nation by passing a strong, bipartisan National Defense Authorization Act.  Additionally, we passed the No Ban Act and Access to Counsel Act to protect civil liberties and the rights of immigrants in court.  Demonstrating our commitment to protecting the environment and our nation’s public lands, the House approved the bipartisan Great American Outdoors Act.  Later, recognizing the deep scars of slavery and segregation and how they affect millions in our country, the House voted to remove Confederate statues from the Capitol and replace the bust of Chief Justice Roger B. Taney with one of Justice Thurgood Marshall.  We rounded out the month by passing bills to create a National Museum of the American Latino, launch a commission to study the challenges facing African-American men and boys, provide relief to child care providers and help families afford the cost of child care, and renew our bipartisan commitment to improving and protecting the infrastructure of America’s waterways. 
 
One of the biggest achievements of the House this month was completing our work on ten out of the twelve appropriations bills.  While the Senate has not introduced or marked up a single appropriations bill, House Democrats passed legislation to fund 96% of the government and express our priorities to the American people as we face a host of national and global challenges.  I want to thank in particular Chairwoman Lowey and all the Members and staff of the Appropriations Committee for their efforts. 
 
While the House can be very proud of our accomplishments over the past two months – really, in just fourteen days of legislative business on the Floor – the same cannot be said for the Senate.  In that body, other than approving the bipartisan annual defense authorization bill and Great American Outdoors Act, Senate Republicans have a dismal record.  They are a deeply divided, dysfunctional party, paralyzed with infighting and unable to pass even an emergency coronavirus relief bill.  I continue to call on the Senate to take up the Heroes Act that we passed more than two months ago, and the House will stand ready to return to session with at least twenty-four hours’ notice and take action if an agreement with the Senate is finally reached.  I hope it will not delay much longer, as the American people are waiting anxiously for Congress to get the job done.
 
Thank you again for your hard work and contribution during a period that will surely be remembered as one of the most remarkable and productive in the history of the House.   
 
Sincerely,

STENY H. HOYER
House Majority Leader