Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY) on Saturday said that he will seek to obtain a consent agreement only to delay the return of Senate floor proceedings scheduled to begin on Monday, meanwhile pushing ahead with the Senate Judiciary Committee’s original timeline set for the confirmation hearing of a conservative judge to the Supreme Court.
“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,” McConnell said in a statement issued Saturday. “The Senate’s floor schedule will not interrupt the thorough, fair, and historically supported confirmation process previously laid out by Chairman Graham.”
Senate floor proceedings will be postponed until October 19th. The @SenJudiciary confirmation hearings for Judge Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court will convene on October 12th as scheduled by Chairman Graham. My full statement: pic.twitter.com/7ThKZPJBZG
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) October 3, 2020
The proposed delay that only extends to the Senate’s floor activity but keeps the confirmation hearing schedule intact, follows reports that three GOP senators have tested positive for coronavirus in recent days.
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) reported a positive test for COVID-19 on Saturday, joining a growing list of Republican lawmakers including Sens. Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Mike Lee (R-UT) who reported diagnoses for coronavirus after President Donald Trump announced he had contracted the virus early Friday.
It is unclear whether Democrats will agree to a delayed return to the Senate. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer suggested that it would be “too dangerous for committee hearings to continue” amid the reported COVID-19 infections of three of his Senate colleagues.
The decision to recess the Senate for 2 weeks after at least 3 GOP Senators have tested positive for COVID makes clear that the Senate cannot proceed with business as usual
If it’s too dangerous to have the Senate in session, it's too dangerous for committee hearings to continue
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) October 3, 2020