House reverses, but Senate to return despite COVID threat

House Democrats on Tuesday reversed course on plans to bring the chamber back into session next week as Senate Republicans vowed to return despite a growing number of coronavirus cases in Washington, D.C.

The contrasting approaches of the two chambers over whether it’s safe for Congress to be in session served as a microcosm of the broader partisan fight over how and when to reopen the nation’s economy.

While Democrats are citing the advice of public health experts in their decision to hold off on reconvening, Republicans are joining President Trump in plowing ahead with efforts to return to business as usual.

As a result, House Democrats next week won’t be in town to pressure the Republican-led Senate to act on the next coronavirus bill and drive the discussion on what should be in it. Senate Republicans have been hitting the brakes on the next legislative package while House Democratic leaders have been pushing for a large and expensive remedy.

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