Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) returned to the Senate Floor on Monday renewing his call to hold hearings with leading health officials, including Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Although the Senate may have Fauci testify next week, Schumer is skeptical he will be able to come forward.
“Now they say they may have Fauci next week, but who can believe that given what Mark Meadows said, given the way that they pulled him away from the House?” Schumer said.
Watch Schumer’s comments below:
Senate Minority Leader Schumer comments on Senate's return to Washington:
"It's unbelievable. There is nothing on the floor this week about COVID … By not hearing the truth, by not listening to the scientists, they are prolonging this crisis." pic.twitter.com/zGLW1aKfUT
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) May 5, 2020
Schumer also tweeted on Monday reiterating his call for Dr. Fauci, among others, to testify before Congress.
The Senate needs to hear from Dr. Fauci, Dr. Birx, Sec. Mnuchin.
We need to know why so many small businesses have had trouble getting loans.
We need to know why unemployment insurance checks are failing to get to workers.
We need to know why we still don’t have enough tests!
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) May 5, 2020
Prior to the Senate’s return from recess, Fauci called on Congress to hold hearings with Dr. Birx and Fauci, both members of the White House coronavirus task force, without President Donald Trump “hovering over them,” as IJR previously reported.
Schumer said he would like to ask them about a national testing plan and why it is reportedly not working.
Schumer’s comments come just after the White House on Friday blocked Fauci from testifying before Congress regarding the administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, as IJR previously reported.
The White House issued a statement explaining the administration’s reasoning behind their decision.
“While the Trump administration continues its whole-of-government response to COVID-19, including safely opening up America again and expediting vaccine development, it is counter-productive to have the very individuals involved in those efforts appearing at congressional hearings,” the statement reads.
On Monday, the administration issued new guidance prohibiting White House coronavirus task force members from testifying before Congress.
“No more than one COVID-related hearing should be agreed to with the department’s primary House and Senate authorizing committee and appropriations subcommittee for the Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security and the State Department,” the new guidance reads.
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows is permitted to add exemptions to the new guidance.
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