McConnell Plows Ahead With Barrett Hearing Even After 3 GOP Senators Test Positive For COVID

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 25: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) (C) talks to reporters following the weekly Republican policy luncheon at the U.S. Capitol February 25, 2020 in Washington, DC. U.S. Attorne... WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 25: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) (C) talks to reporters following the weekly Republican policy luncheon at the U.S. Capitol February 25, 2020 in Washington, DC. U.S. Attorney General William Barr joined the Republicans during their luncheon to talk about reauthorizing a controversial surveillance program, a part of provisions of the USA Freedom Act which are set to expire March 15. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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October 3, 2020 3:13 p.m.

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.”

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. 

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