UPDATED 7:11 AM PT — Tuesday, May 5, 2020
Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) has expressed disapproval of the Senate reconvening. The Illinois Democrat legislator spoke to reporters on Monday and said she thought the move came too early to be safe.
During the exchange with reporters, she echoed her earlier sentiments on safety by saying she worried primarily about the health of Senate support staff. She made the following remarks on the issue:
“My concern is less for senators than I am for the other people that have to work to support us. I get to come here in car and I get to park on the plaza. I don’t have to take the metro to get here. I worry more about the janitors and all the people that have to come into work who don’t have the luxury of having the best health care that we do as senators.”
Duckworth also expressed her disagreement with returning to Capitol Hill while speaking on the Senate floor, chiding leadership for what she called “setting a bad example for others.”
Meanwhile, Republicans like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have insisted it’s Congress’ duty to legislate even amid the coronavirus pandemic. He pointed out that essential workers across the country are “following expert advice and taking new precautions while they continue reporting for duty.”
“We will continue to stand together for the American people — even as we stand six feet apart,” stressed the Kentucky lawmaker.
The Senate is back in session because we have critically important work to do for the nation. Our bosses are the American people and they are counting on us to keep serving.
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) May 4, 2020