On Friday, the House of Representatives can vote on the $ 2 trillion massive coronavirus relief package, the last step before it is sent to President Donald Trump for his signature.
However, some members are likely to be missing, as many are still in their home districts this week. Some are in quarantine. Some are in states with orders to stay home. Two members have tested positive for the coronavirus.
Instead, C-SPAN said it is working with both sides' leadership to collect brief video statements from members that will be broadcast in blocks during prime time next week. That will be the first time for the public affairs network, which is funded by the cable industry.
As of now, the plan is to vote the legislation by voice vote, rather than a roll-call vote, but those plans could be stymied if there are objections.
House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving and attending physician Brian Monahan sent a note to House members on Thursday, establishing a series of social distancing restrictions designed to prevent lawmakers from meeting in groups. Among other things, they limit access to the floor to members who are scheduled to speak during the debate. Then, when the vote is taken, they will notify members of their offices to go to the floor, where they should wash their hands with disinfectant before entering and leaving the chamber.
If there is a call for a roll-call vote, which is entirely possible, members will be called into the room alphabetically in groups.
The House is also advising members who are still outside of DC to think carefully about making the trip. "Members must exercise extreme care and deliberation in making the determination to travel to Washington, D.C.," Irving and Monahan wrote.