Another colleague of a House GOP member described how an office colleague was thought to be exposed, allowing employees to work from home for several days. “Nevertheless,” said this person, “many of my colleagues continued to work in the office. We were told that the test was to be reported to work normally before the test came back because the result was coming too long. I felt sick.” A feeling of deterioration while I have an underlying health condition. “
An administrative staffer, who frequently visits multiple offices, estimated that “the façade in democratic offices was almost universal” but “probably less than 50 percent” according to Republicans.
Masking has become a “political minefield”, creating strange encounters on occasion, this person said: “[S]ome GOP offices ask why have you worn a mask, which puts our employees in an awkward position – do you say the cause of the epidemic and risks taking office as a political stand? Do you take it off to feel better? “
Limited support staff
As the House began to vote regularly again this time, dozens, if not hundreds, of offices have been reopened in some capacity, many with a skeleton crew, but others – especially GOP members – who require almost the entire staff to return to work.
And the return of hundreds of employees has resurfaced a decades-old problem for the Capitol: more than 25 years after the Congressional Accountability Act was passed in an effort to improve the culture on Capitol Hill, it was still working Is a cruel, inefficient place.
Part of the problem is the stinking human resources system in the capital complex. There is no centralized human resources department – each of the 535 MPs and senators is their own employer, with their own set of office policies and protocols.
Employees who are sometimes in an office may be uncomfortable with them, sometimes having limited intercourse. For example, if an employee is uncomfortable about masking policies in an office, that person may reach out to an advocate for the office – who provides free legal counseling to House staff – or the Office of Congress Workplace Rights.
But there are some centralized databases that track employee complaints or concerns, such as those in a capital complex, not a singular database to track potential coronovirus infections among thousands of employees and hundreds of jurists.
According to a House aide familiar with the data, at least 86 Capitol workers have tested positive for coronovirus. Which includes 25 architects of Capitol employees, 28 Capitol police officers and 33 people working on the renovation of the construction of the cannon. But the reporting is voluntary and does not include data from House staff or MPs who have tested positive.
Other colleagues note that overall, relatively few coronavirus cases appear on Capitol Hill, suggesting that many offices are actually following public health guidelines.
Despite a sharp move for a mandate in the House earlier this week, Democratic aides say it is unlikely Congress will begin requiring a trial for members, despite calls by some Republicans to do so. Republicans, those Democratic aides say, are not completely true about the logistics of implementing a routine testing regime for hundreds of lawmakers and Capitol staff and support staff will also need to be tested.
Instead, Democrats feel that the best solution is to fully implement existing policies, including the new mask mandate. If a member refuses to wear masks on the floor of the House or the office buildings attached to it and defies several warnings to do so, it is highly likely that he or she will be out of the area until familiarized with democratic aid Will go. Policy.
On the Senate side, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has urged people to wear masks, though they have doubts about their need. When asked about the idea recently by Judy Woodruff of PBS, she said the Senate has experienced “good compliance” without a mandate. Pressing further, he said, “It doesn’t seem necessary because everyone is doing it.”
Jake Sherman, Sarah Ferris, Heather Keagle and Melanie Zanona contributed to this report.