September 21, 2020

US Congress abandons return to Washington after lawmakers revolt

The US House of Representatives will not reconvene next week following a revolt from lawmakers who complained that it was too soon to return.

On Monday, members were told to return to the Democratic-controlled chamber.

However, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said on Tuesday the plan was scrapped after consulting the House doctor.

The volte-face came as the confirmed number of US Covid-19 cases passed 1m.

The Republican-controlled Senate still plans to return on 4 May.

“We made a judgement that we will not come back next week but that we hope to come back very soon,” Mr Hoyer said.

Washington DC remains under a stay-at-home order until 15 May. Officials say the infection rate is still climbing.

The Washington DC area, which includes suburbs in Maryland and Virginia, have recorded over 38,000 cases and more than 1,600 have died.

The number of Americans who have tested positive for the virus stood at 1,002,498 on Tuesday afternoon, according to Johns Hopkins University, and over 56,700 people in the US have died.

Democratic leaders were faced with a backlash from members of their own party over the plans to return next week.

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