Kevin McCarthy pushing Nancy Pelosi for 'phased' reopening of Congress

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House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said Wednesday that he is pushing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., to safely begin to reopen Congress.

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Appearing on "Outnumbered Overtime" with stand-in host Jonathan Hunt, McCarthy said that America needs to work together in order to get back on its feet as the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic dissipates in some areas.

"Well, everybody has the right to protest. But, you should protest in a manner that you do have social distancing. We should also have plans for how we open the country back up," he urged.

"And, that's going to be different by state, by county, and that's why we need to work together," McCarthy asserted.

"I sent a letter to Speaker Pelosi. I talked to her for more than an hour today on ideas where we can start to open up Congress as well," he stated further. "You don't want to open it all at once; you want to phase in from committees and others."

"And," McCarthy continued, "we want to do it in a healthy, safe manner -- just as you can do across the country. Every area will be different. So, that's why we want to work together and -- at all times, even when it opens back up -- you want to keep that social distancing of where we go."

“With the House now in its fourth week of regular session being suspended, I am writing to request that we work to establish a clear, safe, and effective plan for reopening Congress,” he wrote in the letter. “In my view, conducting the business of the People’s House is the definition of ‘essential work’—just as many of our friends and neighbors continue working to hold up our communities on a daily basis.”

“Unfortunately, members have yet to be given specific guidance as to how Congress will fulfill its core duties—from deliberation to oversight to legislation -- over the coming days and weeks,” he continued.

Most members of the House and Senate have been working in their home districts to comply with social distancing guidelines and both chambers have held only pro forma sessions for the past few weeks.

"We know a lot more about this virus than we knew more than even a month ago. We also know that it didn't come from here, but we are going to defeat this together," McCarthy told Hunt.

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"And, let's all work together in that manner and overcome whatever obstacle we see," he concluded.