Schumer, Feinstein Demand Delaying Barrett Hearing While McConnell Promises to Move ‘Full Steam Ahead’
Just skip the hearing. None of the Democrats are going to vote for her no matter what she says during a hearing.
Of course the Democrats jumped on President Donald Trump’s positive COVID-19 test to push a delay in Amy Coney Barrett’s hearing.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Democrat Dianne Feinstein released a joint statement:
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Dianne Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, said Friday that the upcoming confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett must be postponed to allow Barrett and senators who were potentially exposed to the virus to be tested and isolate.
“It is premature for Chairman Graham to commit to a hearing schedule when we do not know the full extent of potential exposure stemming from the president’s infection and before the White House puts in place a contact tracing plan to prevent further spread of the disease,” the pair said in a statement.
“The unfortunate news about the infection of our colleague Senator Mike Lee makes even more clear that health and safety must guide the schedule for all Senate activities, including hearings,” the statement read.
Lee took the test on Thursday and the result came out Friday morning. He said he “will be back to work in time to join my Judiciary Committee colleagues in advancing the Supreme Court nomination.”
For those curious about the time frame: I noticed Lee missed a Senate vote yesterday afternoon. I checked with his office about why and they say it was during that time that he was tested. (Not earlier in the day before he sat next to other senators at Judiciary meeting.) pic.twitter.com/NXOzazNaN0
— Laura Litvan (@LauraLitvan) October 2, 2020
The hearings are scheduled to begin on October 12 with a committee vote on October 22.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell does not want a delay.
Just finished a great phone call with @POTUS. He’s in good spirits and we talked business — especially how impressed Senators are with the qualifications of Judge Barrett. Full steam ahead with the fair, thorough, timely process that the nominee, the Court, & the country deserve.
— Leader McConnell (@LeaderMcConnell) October 2, 2020
Graham also said the Senate is “on track” to start the hearings on time. He even tweeted this morning that he looks forward “to welcoming back” Lee to proceed with ACB’s nomination.
Sen. Lindsey Graham: "The first thing [Trump] asked me is how’s the hearings going? I said we’re on track. We’re going to start October the 12th, and we’re going to work hard to get this wonderful conservative young lady talented beyond belief, Amy Barrett, on the Supreme Court." pic.twitter.com/p1lbDAXZBq
— The Hill (@thehill) October 2, 2020
Talked to Senator Lee earlier today and wished him a speedy recovery.
Look forward to welcoming him back to the @senjudiciary to proceed with the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barret on October 12. https://t.co/OVm0OQbnQF
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) October 2, 2020
McConnell spoke to Hugh Hewitt Friday morning:
McConnell told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt earlier Friday that he has yet to choose a date for the final floor vote but that Democrats will be unable to delay Barrett’s confirmation. But fallout from the pandemic is largely out of his control.
“Our biggest enemy, obviously, is what we were talking about at the beginning of the interview — the coronavirus, keeping everybody healthy and well and in place to do our job,” he said.
McConnell added that portions of Barrett’s confirmation hearings are likely to be conducted remotely, telling Hewitt that he was not yet sure whether senators who met with Barrett and the White House officials had contracted the virus.
“It can sneak up on you as it did with the president and the first lady. So we’re keeping an eye on everyone,” McConnell said.
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