Republican Sens. Mike Lee (UT), Thom Tillis (NC) and Ron Johnson (WI) have each announced positive tests for COVID-19, and in light of these announcements, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has decided to delay floor proceedings until October 19, 2020.

This decision, however, does not impact the Senate Judiciary Committee.  They will move forward with Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination hearings on October 12, 2020.

The Hill reports:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) will move to delay the Senate’s return for two weeks after three lawmakers tested positive for COVID-19.

McConnell said the Senate will not return until Oct. 19 and will only meet in pro forma sessions for the next two weeks, allowing a smaller number of lawmakers to be on Capitol Hill. Previously-scheduled floor activity will take place after Oct. 19.

. . . .  Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), another member of the Judiciary Committee, was also at the White House last week. Though he tested negative, he still plans to work remotely from Nebraska until Oct. 12 as he receives further testing.

. . . . The absence of the four Republican lawmakers cuts down McConnell’s normal 53-47 majority to just 49 senators.

The delay and diagnoses come as the Senate GOP looks to swiftly confirm Barrett to the Supreme Court to fill the vacancy left by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, but McConnell said the move will not impact the start of her confirmation hearings, which are set to begin on Oct. 12.

“The important work of the Senate’s committees can and will continue as each committee sees fit. The Senate Judiciary Committee will convene on October 12th as Chairman Graham has scheduled to begin confirmation hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court. The Senate’s floor schedule will not interrupt the thorough, fair, and historically supported confirmation process previously laid out by Chairman Graham,” he said, referring to Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), the Judiciary panel’s chairman.

“Since May, the Judiciary Committee has operated flawlessly through a hybrid method that has seen some Senators appear physically at its hearings while other members have participated virtually. The Committee has utilized this format successfully for many months while protecting the health and safety of all involved. Certainly all Republican members of the committee will participate in these important hearings,” McConnell continued.

Graham confirmed in a separate statement that the hearings will not be delayed.

Here is McConnell’s announcement:


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