US Senate flooring exercise postponed as COVID-19 infections unfold | US & Canada
Republican Senate Chairman Mitch McConnell says the Donald Trump Supreme Court confirmation hearing will go as planned.
The U.S. Senate is postponing all planned Senate activity until after October 19, Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Saturday as several lawmakers tested positive for COVID-19 this week.
In a statement, McConnell reiterated that the hearings to confirm President Donald Trump’s candidate in the Supreme Court, Amy Coney Barrett, would continue as planned.
These hearings are expected to begin on October 12th.
“Previously planned floor activities will be postponed until after October 19. The vital work of the Senate committees can and will continue as each committee deems appropriate,” McConnell said in the statement.
“The Senate floor plan will not interrupt the thorough, fair, and historically-backed verification process that was previously established,” he continued.
The Senate trial is postponed to October 19. The @SenJudiciary hearings to confirm Judge Barrett’s appointment to the Supreme Court will be convened on October 12 as scheduled by Chairman Graham. My full explanation: pic.twitter.com/7ThKZPJBZG
– Chairman McConnell (@senatemajldr) October 3, 2020
The decision comes after at least three Senate Republicans tested positive for COVID-19 in the past few days – and Trump was moved to Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland for treatment for COVID-19 following his positive diagnosis.
A White House doctor said Saturday that Trump is “very well”.
Wisconsin Republican Senator Ron Johnson announced that he tested positive for COVID-19. “Senator Johnson feels healthy and has no symptoms,” said a statement from his office on Saturday.
A day earlier, Senator Mike Lee from Utah and Thom Tillis from North Carolina, also Republicans, said they had also tested positive for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
Both Tillis and Lee are members of the Senate Judiciary Committee responsible for voting on Barrett’s nomination for the country’s highest court. They also attended a nomination ceremony for the judge on September 26th at the White House.
– Mike Lee (@SenMikeLee) October 2, 2020
Barrett’s candidacy to fill the seat of the US Supreme Court of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died last month, has sparked a heated political battle in Washington, DC.
Republicans, who control the Senate, insist that the president’s candidate be confirmed before the November 3rd presidential election, while Democrats say the election should be left to whoever wins the vote.
Lee, the Utah Senator, said in a statement Friday that he spoke to McConnell and Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and assured them that I will get back to work on the Barrett’s committee hearings in time Nomination.
McConnell said on Friday that he believed the Senate could “move forward as planned”.