WASHINGTON, D.C.—House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) joined Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), and House Administration Committee Ranking Member Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) at today’s leadership press stakeout to discuss Congress’ response to the Coronavirus outbreak.
Whip Scalise urged Speaker Pelosi to pull the No Ban Act from the House Floor schedule this week. Not only would this dangerous legislation hamper President Trump’s ability to keep terrorists out of the United States, it would make it more difficult to limit people coming into the United States from countries with a high volume of Coronavirus outbreaks.
On Congress’ ongoing response to the Coronavirus:
“Thank you, Rodney, I appreciate your leadership and what both Republicans and Democrats are doing to make sure that the Capitol is as safe as possible anytime, but especially now when you see what’s happening with the Coronavirus and how you’re starting to see more cases. We’ve just seen a case in Louisiana as we’re seeing more states recognize that as testing increases, the prevalence of the number of people who test positive will increase. But we also need to be aware of just how to take basic precautions, just like in an active flu season, you want to make sure that you’re taking proper hygiene steps, and I think everybody’s hearing the same message now. When you come in contact with people, make sure you’re washing your hands on a regular basis and doing it properly. Reducing or eliminating hand shaking and taking other measures so that you’re reducing the risk of coming into contact with any kind of virus, but especially the Coronavirus. We work with the drug companies and others to come up with a vaccine, the testing for various possible vaccines is underway. We’re going to continue to do everything we can to make sure that the CDC, the FDA, and other health agencies are working as closely as possible and I know Vice President Pence has taken the lead and has been going to a number of these locations to make sure that they’ve got the tools they need and Congress has come together to do that.”
On the need to pull the No Ban Act from the House Floor schedule to protect Americans from Coronavirus:
“We need to continue to make sure that we are addressing the policy side as needs occur. I know there is one piece of legislation that’s scheduled for the [House Floor] this week that I would urge Speaker Pelosi to pull back on, and that is the No Ban Act. You saw at the very beginning of this, President Trump was able to take quick action when so many cases were coming out of China, and we still don’t know enough about the genesis of this disease in China and how it may have started there. Unfortunately, they didn’t share enough information with us as quickly where we could have done more things earlier. But at the same time, the President was able to take quick action to limit the number of people coming in from China that had exposure to Coronavirus. The No Ban Act would make it more difficult for the President to keep Americans safe by addressing needs. As we see other countries like Iran, you’re seeing a large, potential large outbreak in Iran. Iran’s one of those countries that we currently have a travel ban on because they don’t allow us to properly vet that terrorists aren’t coming into our country. And so, while the No Ban Act may be focused on that, which in and of itself would be bad policy, the President ought to be able to keep potential terrorists from coming into our country. But now, with this outbreak of Coronavirus, the President also needs to have all the tools available to limit people coming in from countries with a high propensity of Coronavirus, and you wouldn’t want legislation that would make it more difficult. Hopefully that bill gets pulled this week, but in the meantime, we need to continue to do all that we can to ensure that the [Trump Administration] has the tools they need. And we’re working together to inform the public of the various precautions that they can take as we’re trying to find a vaccine and make sure we limit the growth of this virus.”