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Sen. Portman: Remote Working Would Allow Congress to Remain Safe

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio
Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio (AP)

By    |   Thursday, 07 May 2020 02:52 PM

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, is calling for Congress to work remotely during the coronavirus pandemic.

Portman made his comments in a column for Fox News on Thursday.

“Seemingly overnight, the coronavirus pandemic has changed our way of life,” he said. “Many businesses have shuttered – some permanently – and millions of Americans are teleworking for the first time.

“In the midst of this crisis, the voice of the American people must be heard as the federal government works to respond to this unprecedented challenge. Congress provides that voice.”

And Portman said: “Congress must adapt.”

He noted that in April 30, he convened the first-ever virtual Senate hearing as chairman of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. Other subcommittee members joined the videoconference roundtable.

“The experiment was a success on both fronts,” he said. “Senators and witnesses easily conversed from the safety of homes and offices, with one witnesses even testifying from her pick-up truck cab in a rural area in New Mexico.”

“In times of crisis, congressional proceedings no longer need to be confined to a cramped hearing room in the Capitol building. In fact, several committees are now considering holding virtual hearings this week, because even though the Senate is in session, social distancing guidelines favor a remote process.”

He pointed out that in times of crisis, lawmakers in the past have weighed “unprecedented action to endure the continuity of Congress.”

“Our roundtable showed that a remotely working Congress, while not perfect, can allow us to work safely while we defeat the coronavirus.”

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Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, is calling for Congress to work remotely during the coronavirus pandemic.
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Thursday, 07 May 2020 02:52 PM
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