Sen. Chuck Grassley said Monday that he returned to the Senate following his quarantine after he tested positive for the coronavirus earlier this month.
The 87-year-old Iowa Republican, who said he was asymptomatic after contracting the virus, encouraged his congressional colleagues to come together and pass a coronavirus stimulus package before the end of the year when many protections and assistance ends.
“Promising vaccine news means there is light at the end of the tunnel. That makes staying vigilant in the coming months all the more important,” Grassley said in a statement announcing his return to Washington.
“Congress must do its part and pass long overdue relief legislation to help families, businesses and communities get through this crisis. I hope my colleagues reach the same conclusion and a bipartisan bill can pass very soon,” he said.
Grassley, who said he worked from home while in isolation, thanked those who wished him well and called on Americans to wear masks to protect themselves from the disease.
“I’m thankful for their prayers and well wishes. This disease affects people differently. I did not experience symptoms, but more than a thousand Americans are dying every day and many more are hospitalized,” he said. “That means we all have to do our part to help protect our friends, family and fellow Americans. I will continue to wear a mask and practice social distancing.”
New legislation providing coronavirus relief has been caught up for months in congressional gridlock as the House and Senate squabble over how much to spend and what measures to include in the bill – even as coronavirus cases continue to climb and millions of Americans remain jobless.
If a new bill fails to pass, an estimated 5 million people could lose their unemployment benefits and eviction protections expire.