COVID-19 in Congress
We’re tracking Congress’s response to COVID-19, the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. Below you’ll find information on:
- Legislative actions and policy
- Proxy votes in the House
- Members of Congress who are or have been quarantined, tested positive for COVID-19, or came in contact with someone with COVID-19
Legislative Actions and Policy
H.R. 6074: Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020 — Enacted March 4, 2020. Provided $8.3 billion in emergency funding for federal agencies to respond to the coronavirus outbreak related to developing a vaccine, medical supplies, grants for public health agencies, small business loans, and assistance for health systems in other countries. Allowed for temporarily waiving Medicare restrictions and requirements regarding telehealth services.
H.R. 6201: Families First Coronavirus Response Act — Enacted March 18, 2020. Guaranteed free coronavirus testing, established paid leave, enhanced unemployment insurance, expanded food security initiatives, and increased federal Medicaid funding.
H.R. 748: Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act — Enacted March 27, 2020. A $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill, which will send $1,200 to each American making $75,000 a year or less, add $600/week to unemployment benefits for four months, give $100 billion to hospitals and health providers, make $500 billion of loans or investments to businesses, states and municipalities, and $32 billion in grants to the airline industry, and more.
H.R. 266: Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act — Enacted April 24, 2020. A $484 billion relief bill that went to replenish the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for small businesses and to public health measures such as virus testing and hospital funding.
coronavirus.skoposlabs.com — Other legislative activities and federal regulations tracked by Skopos Labs
What did Congress do during the 1918 flu pandemic? [GovTrack.us]
Proxy Voting in the House of Representatives
At the peak of the virus’s spread in March 2020 before Congress went on recess, 22 representatives, and slightly earlier 6 senators, were simultaneously self-quarantining. Both the House and Senate have adapted their procedures to keep legislators and support staff safe while also keeping Congress operational.
On May 15, the House passed a rules change to allow proxy voting for floor votes and remote committee committee meetings during this pandemic (see the committee report for further background). Then, pursuant to the new rules, on May 19 the House’s Office of Attending Physician and Sergeant at Arms determined the existence of a “public health emergency due to a novel coronavirus,” which triggered the beginning of proxy voting rules. Under the rules for proxy voting, representatives may designate another representative as their proxy in advance of votes in a letter to the Clerk of the House of Representatives and must give their proxy exact instructions on how to vote.
In the Senate, although no proxy voting is allowed for floor votes, some Senate committees have begun holding some meetings with senators participating remotely. And while not yet used, existing Senate rules permit voting by proxy in committee.
Legislators voting by proxy
The following 35 legislators are currently voting by proxy:
The following list is the same information as above but grouped by proxy legislator. A legislator may be a proxy for up to ten legislators.
Quarantined and Sick Legislators
In all, representatives and senators self-quarantined or took other action, or no action, after coming in contact with someone with COVID-19 or testing positive for COVID-19 themselves.
In the Senate, .... In the House, ....
In the charts below, the duration of each self-quarantine is indicated.
|3/09/20||Rep. Matt Gaetz (FL-1)||contact with CPAC attendee who tested positive||self-quarantined until 3/12/2020, tested negative||tweet tweet|
|3/09/20||Rep. Julia Brownley (CA-26)||contact with someone who tested positive||self-quarantined until 3/18/2020, DC office to telework||tweet tweet|
|3/09/20||Sen. Ted Cruz (TX)||contact with two people who tested positive at different times||self-quarantined, extended quarantine after found out about contact with second person who tested positive, tested negative, exited quarantine 3/17/2020||tweet tweet|
|3/09/20||Rep. Louie Gohmert (TX-1)||contact||took no action||tweet|
|3/09/20||Rep. Doug Collins (GA-9)||contact||self-quarantined until 3/12/2020||tweet|
|3/09/20||Rep. Paul Gosar (AZ-4)||contact||self-quarantined until 3/13/2020||tweet tweet|
|3/09/20||Rep. Mark Meadows (NC-11)||contact with CPAC attendee who tested positive||self-quarantined until 3/12/2020||tweet news story|
|3/10/20||Rep. Donald Beyer (VA-8)||contact with someone who tested positive||self-quarantined until 3/16/2020||tweet tweet|
|3/11/20||Sen. Maria Cantwell (WA)||DC staffer tested positive||DC office to telework||tweet|
|3/12/20||Sen. Sherrod Brown (OH)||staffer in another senator’s office tested positive||DC office to telework||press release|
|3/12/20||Sen. Joe Manchin (WV)||energy staff?||DC office to telework||tweet|
|3/12/20||Sen. Lindsey Graham (SC)||contact with someone who tested positive||self-quarantined until 3/16/2020; tested negative||tweet tweet|
|3/12/20||Sen. Marco Rubio (FL)||contact||took no action yet||tweet|
|3/12/20||Sen. Rick Scott (FL)||contact with someone who tested positive||exited self-quarantine 3/23/2020||tweet interview tweet|
|3/15/20||Rep. David Schweikert (AZ-6)||DC staffer tested positive||DC office to telework||tweet|
|3/15/20||Sen. Ron Johnson (WI)||contact with someone who tested positive||took no action||tweet|
|3/15/20||Rep. John Yarmuth (KY-3)||contact with someone who tested positive||self-quarantine until 3/23/2020; tested negative||tweet tweet|
|3/15/20||Rep. Adam Schiff (CA-28)||contact with someone who tested positive||said he self-quarantined until "a few days ago" on 3/27/2020||tweet|
|3/16/20||Rep. Gwen Moore (WI-4)||contact with someone who tested positive||self-quarantine until 3/23/2020||tweet|
|3/16/20||Rep. Ben Luján (NM-3)||contact with someone who tested positive||self-quarantine until 3/30/2020||tweet|
|3/16/20||Sen. Tom Carper (DE)||district staffer tested positive||DC and district staff self-isolating||tweet|
|3/17/20||Sen. Cory Gardner (CO)||contact with someone who tested positive||exited self-quarantine 3/25/2020||tweet tweet|
|3/17/20||Rep. Jason Crow (CO-6)||contact with a constituent who tested positive||self-quarantine until 3/25/2020||tweet|
|3/18/20||Rep. Matt Cartwright (PA-8)||contact with someone who tested positive||self-quarantine until 3/29/2020||tweet|
|3/18/20||Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25)||tested positive||self-quarantine until 3/28/2020||tweet|
|3/18/20||Rep. Ben McAdams (UT-4)||tested positive||exited self-quarantine 3/30/2020 having been declared "virus free" by doctors||tweet interview|
|3/18/20||Rep. Drew Ferguson (GA-3)||contact with someone who tested positive||self-quarantine until 3/27/2020||tweet tweet|
|3/18/20||Rep. Steve Scalise (LA-1)||contact with Diaz-Balart||self-quarantine until possibly 4/1/2020, two weeks after the announcement||tweet|
|3/18/20||Rep. Ann Wagner (MO-2)||contact with (presumably) Diaz-Balart||exited self-quarantine by 4/3/2020 when she delivered food donations in person||tweet tweet|
|3/18/20||Rep. Stephanie Murphy (FL-7)||contact with Diaz-Balart||exited self-quarantine 3/29/2020||tweet tweet|
|3/18/20||Rep. Kathleen Rice (NY-4)||contact with someone who tested positive||self-quarantine until 3/27/2020||tweet|
|3/19/20||Rep. Kendra Horn (OK-5)||contact with McAdams||self-quarantine until possibly 4/2/2020, two weeks after the announcement||tweet|
|3/19/20||Rep. Frederica Wilson (FL-24)||contact with Diaz-Balart||exited self-quarantine 4/5/2020||tweet tweet|
|3/19/20||Rep. Joe Cunningham (SC-1)||contact with another legislator who tested positive, then tested positive himself||exited self-quarantine 4/1//2020||tweet tweet news|
|3/19/20||Rep. Tom Cole (OK-4)||contact with Diaz-Balart||exited self-quarantine 3/28/2020||tweet press release|
|3/19/20||Rep. Anthony Brindisi (NY-22)||contact with McAdams||self-quarantine until 3/27/2020||tweet|
|3/19/20||Rep. David Price (NC-4)||contact with another legislator who tested positive||self-quarantine until 3/25/2020||tweet|
|3/19/20||Rep. Sharice Davids (KS-3)||contact with another legislator who tested positive||exited self-quarantine 3/26/2020||tweet tweet|
|3/19/20||Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15)||contact with another legislator who tested positive||exited self-quarantine 3/25/2020; tested negative; maintaining social distancing||tweet press release|
|3/19/20||Rep. Andy Kim (NJ-3)||contact with another legislator who tested positive||self-quarantine until 4/2/2020||tweet|
|3/22/20||Sen. Rand Paul (KY)||tested positive||exited self-quarantine 4/5/2020||tweet news|
|3/22/20||Sen. Mike Lee (UT)||contact with Rand Paul||exited self-quarantine 4/5/2020||tweet news|
|3/22/20||Sen. Mitt Romney (UT)||contact with Rand Paul||exited self-quarantine 4/5/2020, tested negative||tweet news news|
|3/24/20||Rep. Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5)||contact with a doctor who tested positive||self-quarantine until 4/7/2020||tweet|
|3/25/20||Rep. Katie Porter (CA-45)||unknown||self-quarantine; end date uncertain; test results negative||tweet tweet|
|3/25/20||Rep. Seth Moulton (MA-6)||unknown||self-quarantine; end date uncertain||tweet|
|3/25/20||Sen. John Thune (SD)||unknown||self-quarantine; end date uncertain||news article|
|3/25/20||Rep. Lizzie Fletcher (TX-7)||unknown||self-quarantine; end date uncertain||tweet|
|3/26/20||Rep. Ayanna Pressley (MA-7)||unknown||self-quarantine; end date uncertain; tested negative on 3/31/2020||news article|
|3/27/20||Rep. Mike Kelly (PA-16)||tested positive||self-quarantine until 4/10/2020||press release|
|3/30/20||Rep. Nydia Velázquez (NY-7)||diagnosed with presumed coronavirus infection||self-quarantine until 4/13/2020; she will not get a test||tweet|
|4/5/20||Rep. Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11)||spouse has confirmed case||self-quarantine until 4/19/2020 at least; will be tested||news article|
|4/6/20||Rep. Neal Dunn (FL-2)||tested positive||self-quarantine until at least 4/20/2020||news|
|5/11/20||Sen. Lamar Alexander (TN)||staff member tested positive||self-quarantine until 5/25/2020||news|
|6/15/20||Rep. Tom Rice (SC-7)||tested positive||self-quarantine until 6/29/2020||news|