(CNSNews.com) - The U.S. Senate will reconvene on May 4, "and thank God we have them doing that," Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) told Fox & Friends Thursday morning. "The House needs to do the same. This is cowardly to the core. I honestly can't even believe it. This is such a lack of leadership."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) announced on Tuesday that they would heed the advice of the House physician and keep members away from the Washington, where the number of diagnosed coronavirus cases is growing.
"We've made a judgment that we will not come back next week, but that we hope to come back very soon," Hoyer said. But he assured Americans that lawmakers are working "very, very hard at home."
"Cowardice," Crenshaw scoffed on Thursday:
Cowardice is the only way to describe that. This is more than just about accountability. Let me remind, everybody, if we got paid hourly in Congress, you bet Nancy Pelosi would be there.
Now, here's the thing. This is about leadership. This is about leading on the front lines along with the American people who are also on the front lines, nurses, doctors, people still working, grocery stores still working our supply chains, people trying to grow food and to raise cattle and watching their food production plummet.
Listen, people are having real problems, but people are trying. They're fighting on the front lines, they're risk-mitigating, they're being smart but they're still engaging in life. Why can't Congress do the same?
It's about leadership -- it's about demonstrating to the American people that we're not scared and spineless. And just for once I wish we would actually demonstrate that.
There's no problem going in and debating. Okay, you can exert the same kind of risk mitigation measures that everybody else across America is doing and yet Nancy Pelosi refuses to do that.
The Senate is going back to work and thank God we have them doing that. The House needs to do the same. This is cowardly to the core. I can honestly can't even believe it. This is such a lack of leadership.
Crenshaw noted that the only way to stimulate the economy is to "get money flowing through it again."
The Texas Republican called the phased-in reopening of his home state "smart," and he said many other places can "follow suit," even if hard-hit New York City cannot:
We have to start being bold and honest with the people. Listen, it doesn't take any courage whatsoever to tell people to stay home or sic the police on them if they don't -- if they disobey. Ok, that takes no courage whatsoever.
It does take courage to be honest with the American people -- tell them about the risks, educate them about the risks and say, listen, we all have a personal responsibility to get back to normalcy and new normalcy and mitigate risk as we go.
We can do this as a people, and we have to do this. Because there's a real human cost to those job numbers. There's a health care cost to those numbers. OK, procedures aren't being done, lives are being lost, livelihoods are being destroyed, there's mental health issues associated with that, there's a loss of human dignity that's occurring when you lose your livelihood, and we cannot ignore that anymore.
The Labor Department announced on Thursday that first-time claims for unemployment insurance now exceed 30 million over the last 6 weeks.