House Republicans cancel annual retreat over coronavirus concerns

House Republicans cancel annual retreat over coronavirus concerns
© Greg Nash

House Republicans on Monday canceled their annual retreat, slated for next month in Baltimore, over coronavirus concerns.

“In consultation with House Republican Leadership and the House Sergeant-at-Arms, the Congressional Institute will cancel the 2020 House Republican Members’ planning retreat that was scheduled for late April,” the Congressional Institute, which organizes the retreat, said in a statement.

“The health and safety of Members of Congress, their families, Capitol Hill staff, and all others involved in this conference are our highest priority. We look forward to rescheduling this important planning session.”

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GOP lawmakers were slated to gather in Baltimore from April 23-25 to discuss their legislative agenda for the remainder of 2020.

House Democrats announced earlier this month that their caucus retreat scheduled for April 1-3 in Philadelphia would be postponed.

Since the outbreak has hit the U.S., many congressional offices have opted to have their staff work remotely as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has encouraged social distancing.

Top lawmakers in the House are currently grappling with how to best proceed with legislating during the pandemic, with some pushing for remote voting and others proposing members vote in small groups on the House floor.

Two House members, Reps. Mario Diaz-BalartMario Rafael Diaz-BalartHouse chairwoman diagnosed with 'presumed' coronavirus infection Capitol officials extend suspension of tourist access until May Second Capitol Police officer tests positive for coronavirus MORE (R-Fla.) and Ben McAdams (D-Utah), along with Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulHouse chairwoman diagnosed with 'presumed' coronavirus infection Capitol officials extend suspension of tourist access until May Second Capitol Police officer tests positive for coronavirus MORE (R-Ky.), have tested positive for COVID-19.