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Sen. Mike Lee calling colleagues back to DC

(Photo: Kristin Murphy, Deseret News, file 2018)

WASHINGTON DC — Utah Sen. Mike Lee says the Senate is essential, and they need to get back to work.

He made a speech on the Senate floor in a mostly empty chamber saying, “Congress has chosen to prioritize its own convenience” by being in recess since March.

 

“We’re being paid. We have a crisis to continue to work through. Our services are necessary. And in order to perform those services, we have to perform them here in Washington,” Lee said in the speech.

Sen. Mike Lee said the Senate can convene safely. They and their staffers can do a lot of work over the phone or video conferencing. But he says they cannot do the job for which they were elected without actually being in Washington.

He says major legislation needs congress members there to debate and discuss and vote on it, because “the crisis is too big to leave up to a small handful of people.”

“We should not be passing major legislation, especially legislation providing nearly a half-trillion dollars in new spending without Congress actually being in session, without members actually being here to debate, discuss, amend and consider legislation and vote on it individually rather than on an absentee basis,” Lee said.

Lee joined KSL’s Dave and Dujanovic Show Wednesday morning where he spoke more about this.

They asked him how the Senate could convene safely. He said many people are working around America right now, and they can do the same in Congress.

“There are ways we can minimize those risks. Wearing masks, social distancing – those are all things we can do while in the United States Senate. But the one thing we can’t do, is legislate while in recess.”

Lee also said basically that the Senate rules right now don’t allow for voting or debating via video conferencing.

You can hear the full conversation between Sen. Lee and Dave and Dujanovic below.


Find more of KSLNewsRadio’s coverage of COVID-19 here:

 


How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronaviruses transmitted from person to person. It is a virus that is similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet)
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities.)
  • Get a flu shot.

Local resources

KSL Coronavirus Q&A

Utah’s Coronavirus Information

UtahState Board of Education

Utah Hospital Association

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707

National Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization

Cases in the United States