Arizona congressman tests positive for virus; 2nd this week
(Bonnie Cash/Pool via AP)WASHINGTON The chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee said Saturday he tested positive for the coronavirus days after he sat close to another member of the panel, Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert, who also tested positive. Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., said in a statement that he has the virus but, like Gohmert, has no symptoms. He is at least the 11th member of Congress known to have tested positive for the coronavirus. Grijalva went into isolation after Gohmert tested positive on Wednesday, since the two had sat close to each other at a Natural Resources hearing the day before. The White House tests anyone who will be in close proximity to the president, which is how Gohmert found out he had the virus.
Despite COVID crisis, Congress seeks to do its day job
On Friday, the House passed a $259 billion funding bill for foreign aid and the Interior, Agriculture, and Veterans Affairs departments along party lines. The measure is the first annual spending measure to pass either the House or Senate this year, but it has scant chance of becoming law, serving instead as a springboard for negotiations down the line. And if Trump loses the election, Democrats are likely to wait until the Biden administration is in place before wrapping up the annual bills, which fund the annual operations of federal Cabinet agencies. The Senate Appropriations panel canceled plans for drafting its 12 annual bills after Democrats served notice they would offer amendments on COVID relief and policing reform that Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala., deemed too politically troublesome. As a result, Congress is likely to return to Washington in September to handle a stopgap funding bill that would last until December to prevent a campaign season government shutdown.