Press Release
For Immediate Release: 
May 29, 2020
Contact Info: 
Mariel Saez 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD) sent the below letter to Members today regarding the House legislative schedule for summer 2020. You can view the calendar here.

May 29, 2020

Dear Colleague,

Over the past three months, the House has taken extraordinary measures to address the COVID-19 pandemic.  We took swift action in March to provide funding for research into treatments and a vaccine and passed the Families First Act to ensure that Americans can access testing with no out-of-pocket costs and can take paid sick leave if needed.  We then joined with the Senate in April to enact the CARES Act, followed by an interim bill to address a shortfall in funding for the Paycheck Protection Program.  This month, the House passed the Heroes Act to provide states, territories, tribes, and localities with funding to prevent budgetary shortfalls in order to keep teachers, first responders, and other workers on the job, and to ensure the continuity of basic services. 

With more than 100,000 Americans dead and more than 40 million out of work, it is past time for the Senate to take action on the Heroes Act or other legislation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  I expect, then, that the House will be in session at some point in June, once the Senate does act, for further Floor action on this critical issue. I will be providing Members with at least seventy-two-hours’ notice of any Floor action relating to COVID-19 response legislation.

As we continue to meet the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic, the House must also continue its work on other critical legislation to address issues of national need and concern. Because of H. Res. 965, the House will be able to consider legislation in committees and on the Floor while protecting the safety of our constituents, staff, employees, and Members. Consistent with that, I write to share with you the updated plan for the summer as the House confronts the COVID-19 crisis and other critical, time-sensitive matters of legislative business.

Throughout the month of June, legislative work in House committees will be our focus, with committees meeting to hold hearings and to mark up and report legislation.  Their goal will be to prepare must-pass legislation for consideration on the Floor in late June and going through July, including a 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA); an infrastructure package that includes reauthorization of expiring surface transportation provisions; a reauthorization of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA); legislation to strengthen and expand the Affordable Care Act as more Americans have come to rely on it during this pandemic; and appropriation bills for Fiscal Year 2021; among others.  Committees will be provided time not only to prepare these and other bills for the Floor but also first to adhere to the provisions of H. Res. 965, which require each committee to practice with two hearings making use of remote tools before any remote markup can be held.  This will ensure that the process of considering legislation in committee under new procedures can go smoothly and securely. 

To that end, to prepare for the consideration of must-pass legislation this summer, the Appropriations Committee held its first hearing with remote participation this week, and it will continue to hold necessary COVID-19 oversight hearings before beginning subcommittee and full-committee markups at the end of June and beginning of July.  The Armed Services Committee will hold its first practice hybrid-hearing next week and will continue to meet the additional requirements before starting to hold subcommittee and full-committee markups at the end of June.  The Transportation & Infrastructure Committee is holding its first official virtual subcommittee hearing this week, and it will continue to satisfy the remaining requirements outlined in recently-adopted rules so the Committee is able to hold a full-committee markup in the coming weeks.  Additionally, the Chief Administrative Officer and his staff will be implementing additional protocols to clean and disinfect committee rooms throughout June in order to maintain the highest standards of safety while committees perform their work, which will require extra time between committee meetings. 

Later in June and throughout July the House will meet to consider on the Floor legislation reported by committees.  I anticipate longer days in late June and in July in order to accommodate votes on appropriation bills, NDAA, an infrastructure bill, ACA legislation, and WRDA.  Votes may occur as early as 10:00 a.m. on the first day of the week, and votes may last into the evening on the last day of the week.  Safety measures for Members voting in person in the House chamber will also lead to longer and later votes.  I am hopeful, though, that we can complete work on critical legislative items in a timely fashion while continuing to do our part to respond to the pandemic’s health and economic impacts.  If the House is able to complete its work on these items by the end of July, no changes will be made to the August District Work Period, barring, of course, any additional measures that need to be taken to address the COVID-19 pandemic.  Information on the Fall schedule will be provided at a later date.

The Democratic-led House will continue to be focused on doing its job For the People, even while confronting this pandemic.  In the coming days, committees will be sharing further information about the timing of hearings and markups, and I will continue to keep Members updated on the Floor schedule with sufficient advance notice of any planned votes. 

With the provisions of H. Res. 965 now in place, the House is moving forward effectively to get our work done and protect public health at the same time.

Sincerely yours,
Steny H. Hoyer