McConnell pushes forward with Barrett hearings next week over Democrats’ objections

Even with several senators included in the coronavirus outbreak on Capitol Hill, the planned confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett remain on track to commence on schedule.

As reported by Fox News, Senate Republicans announced on Monday that the proceedings will begin on Monday as originally planned.

Three GOP senators infected

The move came over the clear objections of Democrats who have been against Barrett’s confirmation from the beginning and have used three positive COVID-19 tests within the Senate as a reason to postpone the scheduled hearings.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who chairs the Senate judiciary committee, outlined a calendar that includes a conclusion of hearings on Oct. 15 and a confirmation vote shortly before Election Day, as reported by The Hill.

Senate Democrats have insisted that the GOP majority should postpone the hearings after Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT), Thom Tillis (R-NC), and Ron Johnson (R-WI), announced they had contracted the coronavirus.

Along with Graham, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) asserted that Republicans have no desire to let the recent developments derail their plans for a prompt confirmation.

GOP leaders have announced plans to follow strict social distancing rules and have invited senators to participate virtually through what is being called a “hybrid hearing.”

“We will not stop working”

McConnell addressed the accommodations in a tweet on Monday, according to the New York Post.

“Judge Barrett’s hearings will begin one week from today. Chairman Graham has all the tools to conduct a hybrid hearing, just like the 150 others the Senate has held this year,” he wrote. “We will not stop working for the American people because Democrats are afraid they may lose a vote.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), however, dismissed virtual hearings as “no hearing at all,” calling instead for rigorous testing and quarantines that could last two weeks.

Every vote will be important for Republicans, who appeared to have the nomination secured after only two GOP senators expressed early opposition.

Despite the infection of multiple senators, the majority party seems committed to the cause, with Johnson asserting that he would wear a “moon suit” to the Senate floor if necessary.

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