House in session to debate bills, to vote in waves
The House went into session today at 10 a.m.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., announced that there would be a one-hour debate on H.Res. 935 to establish a House Oversight and Reform Select Committee on the coronavirus crisis, followed by a two-hour debate on the Senate Amendment to H.R. 266 — Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act — under suspension of the rules.
At the beginning of the first debate, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., spoke to the chamber, saying that she hopes the House can consider a change in voting procedure on a bipartisan basis when the House comes back into session on May 4. Pelosi also saluted House Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern for his fights to end hunger.
Following debate at approximately 1:30 p.m., the House will take two votes separately and members are asked to come to the House floor in alphabetical groups to maintain social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The first vote is expected to be done by 3:30 p.m. There will be a 30-minute recess in between the first and second vote to allow for a cleaning of the House chamber, with the second second vote is scheduled between 4 and 6 p.m.
“For the health of all members and staff and to limit the number of people on the House floor, members are asked to stay in their offices except for during their confirmed speaking time during debate,” Hoyer added.
“Additionally, members are asked to come to the floor only during their voting group’s window and to return to their offices until their voting group is called for the next vote.
“Members are encouraged to use the voting machines while voting and not vote by card in the House well. During the vote series, the majority whip’s office will notify members when each group should proceed to the floor to vote.”
Following the cleaning, the House will reconvene to vote on passage of the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, by groups. Updates about the timing for each group on that vote will be provided to members.