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 AderholtGroup launches first national ad campaign to celebrate America's 250th anniversary House Democrats call for paid legal representation in immigration court Mo Brooks expresses interest in running for Shelby's Senate seat 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 ScottHouse Republican takes part in hearing while driving car Overnight Defense: Tim Kaine moves to claw back war powers authority | Study on sexual harassment and assault in the military Commissioners tasked with scrubbing Confederate base names sworn-in at first meeting MORE (R-Ga.) and Ted BuddTheodore (Ted) Paul BuddSchumer, Tim Scott lead as Senate fundraising pace heats up Pro-impeachment Republicans outpace GOP rivals in second-quarter fundraising Trump, GOP return to border to rev up base 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 GrassleyGrassley pressured to run as Democrats set sights on Iowa The Hill's Morning Report - Pelosi considers adding GOP voices to Jan. 6 panel Ex-Rep. Abby Finkenauer running for Senate in Iowa 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 HoyerHouse Democrats grow frustrated as they feel ignored by Senate Democrats warn leadership against excluding House from infrastructure talks Ethics panel upholds 0 mask fines against Greene, other GOP lawmakers 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.