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Calls for widespread testing on Capitol Hill ramp up

(CNN) #local-all – Lawmakers are once again calling for their leadership to implement a wide-ranging testing plan to ensure the safety of not only members, but workers and aides at the Capitol Hill complex, as news from the last 12 hours has served as a frightening reminder of just how vulnerable the legislative branch is when it comes to coronavirus.

Sen. Mike Lee’s positive coronavirus diagnosis, his proximity to Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett , his participation in GOP lunches and attendance at the Senate Judiciary Committee meeting Thursday is just the latest reminder that Capitol Hill is not immune from the threat of this virus, and the way that the massive complex operates can leave it more susceptible to outbreaks.

For months, Sen. Roy Blunt, a Republican from Missouri and chairman of the Rules Committee has been arguing to his colleagues and Democratic and Republican leaders that the Capitol must implement a testing plan to protect staff and members.

But, those calls have often fallen on deaf ears as leaders have raised concerns about the optics of Congress being regularly tested when Americans across the country have complained of long delays in getting their results.

Now, however, multiple members tell CNN that something needs to be done.
Asked if it was time for a wide-spread testing plan, one Democratic senator texting CNN back immediately “YES.”

Asked if they had talked to leadership about it, the person responded “just did.”