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Alabama Republican becomes third House member to test positive for COVID-19 this week

Alabama Republican becomes third House member to test positive for COVID-19 this week
© Greg Nash

Rep. Robert AderholtRobert Brown AderholtREAD: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results Congress eyes 1-week stopgap, longer session to reach deal Alabama Republican becomes third House member to test positive for COVID-19 this week MORE (R-Ala.) said Friday that he has tested positive for COVID-19, making him the third House member this week to report a positive coronavirus test.

Aderholt said in a statement that he is asymptomatic but had been isolating and got tested after his wife had the virus.

"I fully expected to receive a negative test, because I have felt, and continue to feel fine and have no symptoms. Unfortunately, I received word Friday morning that my test came back positive. After speaking with the Attending Physician for Congress, I will continue to isolate," Aderholt said.

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Aderholt did not cast floor votes this week while quarantining. Neither did the other two House members who tested positive earlier this week, Reps. Austin ScottJames (Austin) Austin ScottCongress eyes 1-week stopgap, longer session to reach deal Alabama Republican becomes third House member to test positive for COVID-19 this week Thompson named top Republican on Agriculture MORE (R-Ga.) and Ted BuddTheodore (Ted) Paul BuddREAD: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results Here are the Republicans planning to challenge the Electoral College results Growing number of GOP lawmakers back Electoral College challenge MORE (R-N.C.).

But during the week before the Thanksgiving holiday, five lawmakers cast votes in person on the House floor shortly before learning that they had tested positive for COVID-19. Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyOn The Money: Treasury announces efforts to help people get stimulus payments | Senate panel unanimously advances Yellen nomination for Treasury | Judge sets ground rules for release of Trump taxes Senate panel unanimously advances Yellen nomination for Treasury Finance Committee vote on Yellen nomination scheduled for Friday MORE (R-Iowa) was also on the Senate floor to speak and vote a day before he tested positive, although he said later that he never showed symptoms.

The spike in COVID-19 cases among members of Congress comes as cases, hospitalizations and deaths are rising nationally. Since November, 14 members of the House and Senate have tested positive for the coronavirus.

That's about 40 percent of all 35 members of Congress who have tested positive for COVID-19 since March, while several others have had presumed cases or tested positive for antibodies.

House Democratic leaders urged lawmakers to stay in Washington through this weekend to minimize travel, with an eye on finishing this year's legislative business next week. But it's not clear whether many lawmakers followed that guidance.

The Capitol's attending physician earlier this week advised lawmakers and staff to avoid attending receptions, dinners or restaurant outings with people outside of their families.

Congress is rushing to pass bills to avoid a government shutdown after Dec. 11, provide another round of pandemic economic relief and renew annual defense programs — all in a matter of days.

House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerBudowsky: Democracy won, Trump lost, President Biden inaugurated Congressional leaders present Biden, Harris with flags flown during inauguration LIVE INAUGURATION COVERAGE: Biden signs executive orders; press secretary holds first briefing MORE (D-Md.) said that he's aiming to send House members home by the end of next week so that they have sufficient time to quarantine ahead of spending Christmas with their families.