UPDATED 11:15 AM PT — Saturday, August 1, 2020
GOP lawmakers have urged health officials to provide rapid testing kits on Capitol Hill for members of Congress, staff and reporters.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) recently announced he was exploring possibilities after writing a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). In the letter, he called for testing so lawmakers can work safely in-person.
Dear Speaker Pelosi: Five months of waiting for you to write a comprehensive plan for Congress to operate safely is long enough. Nine members of Congress from both parties have contracted COVID-19, & the need for testing throughout Capitol Hill remains immediate.
My full letter: pic.twitter.com/AHuH6DmdxR
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) July 30, 2020
Both Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) previously declined to offer testing at the capitol, citing the nationwide shortage.
The House speaker has since said the decision is up to the capitol physician.
“There are about 20,000 people who make the capitol run,” stated Pelosi. “The capitol physician has not said, yet, that he thinks that we should be tested, but it’s not just us.”
According to a spokesperson for Sen. McConnell, the majority leader has not changed his mind on his stance either.