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Ranking Member Roe: “As elected officials, we have a constitutional duty and a moral imperative to lead by example in safely moving forward”

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Washington, May 15, 2020 | Samantha Gonzalez (202-225-3527) | comments
Today, Rep. Phil Roe, M.D. (R-Tenn.) the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, released the following statement after the House passed H.Res 965, which allows House Committees to conduct official business through virtual hearings, markups, and depositions and also implements proxy voting.

“Fewer than ten days after the attacks on Pearl Harbor, Congress returned to the House chamber to carry on with the people’s business. The day after 9/11, Congress reconvened on the House Floor to show strength and unity in the face of the worst terrorist attack our country has ever experienced, even though the Capitol itself was on the target list. The COVID-19 pandemic is a threat as surely as the attack on Pearl Harbor and on 9/11. As elected officials, we have a constitutional duty and a moral imperative to lead by example in safely moving forward, fulfilling our mission, and meeting the moment we are in as a nation. Instead, House Democrats have admitted defeat. We cannot and should not stay home when the President is working, the Senate is working, our Armed Forces are working, and American people from all walks of life are working. As the Ranking Member of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, I am deeply concerned about the impact the pandemic is having on our nation’s veterans. Our Committee should be conducting regular, open hearings to discuss how to protect the men and women who have served from the devastating effects the coronavirus and our national response to it is having on their health, safety, and emotional and economic well-being as well as how to empower them to succeed in the months and years ahead. Instead, several weeks have passed without any official Committee business. As disappointed as I am in today’s vote, I vow to continue working with Chairman Takano and my fellow Committee Members on behalf of the millions of veterans and their families we were sent to Washington to serve and who deserve our leadership now more than ever.”
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