After the pandemic spread of coronavirus forced President Donald Trump to declare America to be in a state of “national emergency,” the House of Representatives has tried to quickly pass a virus-response bill, however, there’s one Republican representative, Louie Gohmert, from Texas, up the process of this bill making it to the Senate for a vote due to a last-minute “technical fix.”
Gohmert, who’s served Texas 1st congressional district since 2005, told Bloomberg News that he believes the bill includes a “major problem screwing over both workers and small business owners. It didn’t set out how the workers were going to be compensated,” in the face of COVID-19 forcing businesses to close across the nation.
On Monday, Bloomberg reporter Laura Litvan tweeted, “Gohmert left the House floor earlier, walked to Senate GOP Whip John Thune’s office hoping to meet w him. Left empty-handed. Told me he doesn’t know that this can be solved soon. ‘I’ve got more work to do,’ he said as he re-entered the House chamber.”
The House initially passed the bill early Saturday morning after negotiations were made between Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, and Steven Mnuchin, the current U.S. Secretary of Treasury under Donald Trump. The legislation allowed for free coronavirus testing, two weeks of paid sick leave, a bigger budget for Medicaid benefits, and more.
But Rep. Gohmert has insisted that he hasn’t been given ample time to read over the new changes in regards to virus-related sick leave. What’s nervewracking about this delay, is that this bill is extremely time-sensitive. The number of Americans infected by COVID-19 is exponentially rising each day. It the House can’t pass the bill with a unanimous agreement, it further delays the Senate from voting on it, which means it will take even longer for it to be signed off by the President.
Because Congress is in the midst of a week-long recess, Gohmert told Bloomberg News that passing the House bill “without elected members being able to read it and then spending a weekend coming up with technical corrections that still to this minute have not been finalized, and expecting that to pass by unanimous consent with no elected officials here” is a problem. Unless you like dictatorships where unelected officials do everything.”
Rep. Gohmert Refused To Self-Quarantine After Coming Into Contact With Coronavirus Patient at CPAC
While numerous Republican politicians entered self-quarantine following that an attendee at the Conservative Political Action Conference tested positive for COVID-19, Rep. Gohmert refused to self-isolate. On March 9, he tweeted, “I took the advice of the expert and returned to work. No one is panicking and we are observing the recommended precautions.”
Not only was Rep. Gohmert remiss to follow proposed coronavirus protocol like fellow Republicans Matt Gaetz, Ted Cruz, and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, he proceeded to lead a tour of school kids around the Capital building.