skip to main content

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

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

Policy Analysis

What did Congress do during the 1918 flu pandemic? [GovTrack.us]

CRS reports related to COVID-19 [everycrsreport.com], COVID-19 Oversight & Policy Resources [POGO]

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:

Remote Legislator Proxy Legislator Since
Rep. Alan Lowenthal [D-CA47] Rep. Donald Beyer [D-VA8] May 21, 2020
Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman [D-NJ12] Rep. Frank Pallone [D-NJ6] May 21, 2020
Rep. Eddie Johnson [D-TX30] Rep. Hakeem Jeffries [D-NY8] May 22, 2020
Rep. Mark DeSaulnier [D-CA11] Rep. Doris Matsui [D-CA6] May 26, 2020
Rep. Al Lawson [D-FL5] Rep. Dwight Evans [D-PA3] May 26, 2020
Rep. John Lewis [D-GA5] Rep. Daniel Kildee [D-MI5] May 26, 2020
Rep. Ted Lieu [D-CA33] Rep. Donald Beyer [D-VA8] May 26, 2020
Rep. Zoe Lofgren [D-CA19] Rep. Brendan Boyle [D-PA2] May 26, 2020
Rep. Gwen Moore [D-WI4] Rep. Donald Beyer [D-VA8] May 26, 2020
Rep. Grace Napolitano [D-CA32] Rep. Luis Correa [D-CA46] May 26, 2020
Rep. Bobby Rush [D-IL1] Rep. Lauren Underwood [D-IL14] May 26, 2020
Rep. Peter Welch [D-VT0] Rep. James “Jim” McGovern [D-MA2] May 26, 2020
Rep. Frederica Wilson [D-FL24] Rep. Jahana Hayes [D-CT5] May 26, 2020
Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick [D-AZ2] Rep. Ruben Gallego [D-AZ7] May 27, 2020
Rep. Donald Payne [D-NJ10] Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz [D-FL23] May 27, 2020
Rep. John Garamendi [D-CA3] Rep. Brendan Boyle [D-PA2] Jun 22, 2020
Rep. Linda Sánchez [D-CA38] Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard [D-CA40] Jun 22, 2020
Rep. James “Jim” Langevin [D-RI2] Rep. Stephen Lynch [D-MA8] Jun 23, 2020
Rep. Ro Khanna [D-CA17] Rep. Jimmy Gomez [D-CA34] Jun 24, 2020
Rep. Tony Cárdenas [D-CA29] Rep. Jimmy Gomez [D-CA34] Jun 25, 2020
Rep. Eliot Engel [D-NY16] Rep. Dina Titus [D-NV1] Jun 25, 2020
Rep. Francis Rooney [R-FL19] Rep. Donald Beyer [D-VA8] Jun 25, 2020
Rep. Joyce Beatty [D-OH3] Rep. Karen Bass [D-CA37] Jun 26, 2020
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver [D-MO5] Rep. Lacy Clay [D-MO1] Jun 26, 2020
Rep. Lois Frankel [D-FL21] Rep. Katherine Clark [D-MA5] Jun 26, 2020
Rep. Nita Lowey [D-NY17] Rep. Paul Tonko [D-NY20] Jun 26, 2020
Rep. Grace Meng [D-NY6] Rep. Paul Tonko [D-NY20] Jun 26, 2020
Rep. Jerrold Nadler [D-NY10] Rep. Hakeem Jeffries [D-NY8] Jun 26, 2020
Rep. Chellie Pingree [D-ME1] Rep. David Cicilline [D-RI1] Jun 26, 2020
Rep. Jackie Speier [D-CA14] Rep. Mary Scanlon [D-PA5] Jun 26, 2020
Rep. Barbara Lee [D-CA13] Rep. Jared Huffman [D-CA2] Jun 28, 2020
Rep. David Price [D-NC4] Rep. George “G.K.” Butterfield [D-NC1] Jun 28, 2020
Rep. Alcee Hastings [D-FL20] Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz [D-FL23] Jun 29, 2020
Rep. José Serrano [D-NY15] Rep. Hakeem Jeffries [D-NY8] Jun 29, 2020
Rep. Juan Vargas [D-CA51] Rep. Mike Levin [D-CA49] Jun 29, 2020

Proxies

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.

Proxy Legislator Remote Legislators
Rep. Donald Beyer [D-VA8] Rep. Alan Lowenthal [D-CA47] (May 21, 2020-), Rep. Ted Lieu [D-CA33] (May 26, 2020-), Rep. Gwen Moore [D-WI4] (May 26, 2020-), Rep. Francis Rooney [R-FL19] (Jun 25, 2020-)
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz [D-FL23] Rep. Donald Payne [D-NJ10] (May 27, 2020-), Rep. Alcee Hastings [D-FL20] (Jun 29, 2020-)
Rep. Daniel Kildee [D-MI5] Rep. John Lewis [D-GA5] (May 26, 2020-)
Rep. Ruben Gallego [D-AZ7] Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick [D-AZ2] (May 27, 2020-)
Rep. Lacy Clay [D-MO1] Rep. Emanuel Cleaver [D-MO5] (Jun 26, 2020-)
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries [D-NY8] Rep. Eddie Johnson [D-TX30] (May 22, 2020-), Rep. Jerrold Nadler [D-NY10] (Jun 26, 2020-), Rep. José Serrano [D-NY15] (Jun 29, 2020-)
Rep. Mary Scanlon [D-PA5] Rep. Jackie Speier [D-CA14] (Jun 26, 2020-)
Rep. Paul Tonko [D-NY20] Rep. Nita Lowey [D-NY17] (Jun 26, 2020-), Rep. Grace Meng [D-NY6] (Jun 26, 2020-)
Rep. James “Jim” McGovern [D-MA2] Rep. Peter Welch [D-VT0] (May 26, 2020-)
Rep. Brendan Boyle [D-PA2] Rep. Zoe Lofgren [D-CA19] (May 26, 2020-), Rep. John Garamendi [D-CA3] (Jun 22, 2020-)
Rep. Jimmy Gomez [D-CA34] Rep. Ro Khanna [D-CA17] (Jun 24, 2020-), Rep. Tony Cárdenas [D-CA29] (Jun 25, 2020-)
Rep. David Cicilline [D-RI1] Rep. Chellie Pingree [D-ME1] (Jun 26, 2020-)
Rep. George “G.K.” Butterfield [D-NC1] Rep. David Price [D-NC4] (Jun 28, 2020-)
Rep. Frank Pallone [D-NJ6] Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman [D-NJ12] (May 21, 2020-)
Rep. Luis Correa [D-CA46] Rep. Grace Napolitano [D-CA32] (May 26, 2020-)
Rep. Dwight Evans [D-PA3] Rep. Al Lawson [D-FL5] (May 26, 2020-)
Rep. Jahana Hayes [D-CT5] Rep. Frederica Wilson [D-FL24] (May 26, 2020-)
Rep. Doris Matsui [D-CA6] Rep. Mark DeSaulnier [D-CA11] (May 26, 2020-)
Rep. Lauren Underwood [D-IL14] Rep. Bobby Rush [D-IL1] (May 26, 2020-)
Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard [D-CA40] Rep. Linda Sánchez [D-CA38] (Jun 22, 2020-)
Rep. Stephen Lynch [D-MA8] Rep. James “Jim” Langevin [D-RI2] (Jun 23, 2020-)
Rep. Dina Titus [D-NV1] Rep. Eliot Engel [D-NY16] (Jun 25, 2020-)
Rep. Karen Bass [D-CA37] Rep. Joyce Beatty [D-OH3] (Jun 26, 2020-)
Rep. Katherine Clark [D-MA5] Rep. Lois Frankel [D-FL21] (Jun 26, 2020-)
Rep. Jared Huffman [D-CA2] Rep. Barbara Lee [D-CA13] (Jun 28, 2020-)
Rep. Mike Levin [D-CA49] Rep. Juan Vargas [D-CA51] (Jun 29, 2020-)

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 charts below, the duration of each self-quarantine is indicated.

Date Legislator Event Action Links
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 3/27/2020tweet
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 positiveexited self-quarantine 4/5/2020 tweet news
3/22/20 Sen. Mike Lee (UT) contact with Rand Paulexited self-quarantine 4/5/2020 tweet news
3/22/20 Sen. Mitt Romney (UT) contact with Rand Paulexited 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