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Congressman Steve King announces that he voted “NO” on the rushed Wuhan Virus/COVID-19 (HR 6201) legislation presented to the House in the early morning hours of Saturday, March 14. The rush to pass the legislation meant that the bill was filed at 12:01 AM, debate began at 12:10 AM, and only 18 minutes later, at 12:28 AM, the vote was gaveled. This compressed timeframe ensured that Members of Congress voting on the bill had no opportunity to read the final language. Members had no time to evaluate provisions that place burdensome and costly regulations on small business operations. No amendments were allowed.

“Saturday’s rushed and flawed House-passed coronavirus bill is a typical Washington DC response to an atypical problem,” said King. “In an effort to be seen as doing something to address the impact of the Wuhan Virus/COVID-19, Speaker Pelosi scrambled to present a hastily thrown-together bill that no voting Member of Congress could have read in its final form. The bill places onerous paid sick-leave requirements on small businesses. The impact, if left uncorrected by the Senate, is a viral threat to the survival of thousands of small businesses and will force many of them out of business. The Senate should take note of the 40 Republicans who stood up for our nation’s small-business owners and employees by voting ‘NO.’ I have contacted my Senators and called upon them to fix this bill and send it back to the House for concurrence.”

“The House was in an irrational, stampeded rush to pass a bill so that Members could go to the airport to fly home. The bill sat in limbo for over 60 hours waiting for Senators to return to Washington, D.C. There was time to take the bill through committee, do the mark-up, debate, deliberate, offer amendments, and pass a workable well-constructed bill on the floor. Of course, we would have had to work the weekend, which many rushing to vote for this bill wanted to avoid.”