AP

GOP seeks to curtail Senate work, but not Barrett hearings

Oct 3, 2020, 12:00 PM | Updated: 12:06 pm
COVID-19 Supreme Court Justice McConnell...
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., meets with Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, POOL)
(AP Photo/Susan Walsh, POOL)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans on Saturday sought to call off legislative work in the Senate until Oct. 19 as the coronavirus reached into their ranks. But they vowed that hearings for President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee would push ahead as planned.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the confirmation hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett will still begin Oct. 12, even if Democrats agree to cancel the regular Senate session to avoid further spread of COVID-19. Since Friday morning, three GOP senators have announced they have tested positive.

“The Senate’s floor schedule will not interrupt the thorough, fair and historically supported confirmation process,” the Kentucky Republican wrote. “Certainly, all Republican members of the committee will participate in these important hearings.”

RELATED: Utah Senator Mike Lee tests positive for COVID-19

There was no immediate word on whether Senate Democrats would agree to shutter Senate business as McConnell requested.

In a statement, the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmed the panel would proceed on the nomination. It noted that committees can convene “regardless of whether or not the Senate is in session.” Chairman Lindsey Graham of South Carolina has said senators can attend the hearings virtually.

It was an emphatic reminder that Senate Republicans defending their majority had hoped for an election season finale focused on their power to solidify a conservative majority on the high court. But the whipsaw infections of Mr. Trump, who has been hospitalized, and a series of GOP senators since Friday morning raised significant worries in Republican circles about the spread of the virus at various events where masks have been scarce.

RELATED:  Will COVID-19 diagnosis for Mike Lee interfere with SCOTUS confirmation process?

Concern began with the White House Rose Garden ceremony last Saturday where Pres. Trump introduced Barrett. In the audience, where few people wore masks, were members of the Judiciary Committee that will handle confirmation hearings. Two members of the panel, Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Thom Tillis of North Carolina, on Friday announced that like Pres. Trump, they had tested positive for the virus.

On Saturday, Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, who is not a member of the Judiciary panel, announced that he, too, had tested positive.

With three Republican senators infected and others awaiting results, McConnell is without a fully working majority of 50 senators. He would need to rely on Vice President Mike Pence to be on hand to break any tie votes.

Amid the outbreak, members of both chambers of Congress called for a comprehensive testing plan for Capitol Hill. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and McConnell have resisted doing so because universal testing is not available to everyone in America.
___
Follow Kellman on Twitter at: http://www.twitter.com/APLaurieKellman


How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronavirus is transmitted from person to person. It is a virus that is similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet)
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities.)
  • Get a flu shot.

Local resources

KSL Coronavirus Q&A

Utah’s Coronavirus Information

UtahState Board of Education

Utah Hospital Association

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707

National Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization

Cases in the United States

Today’s Top Stories

AP

Frankfurter-munching phenom Joey “Jaws” Chestnut has gobbled his way to a 15th win at the Natha...
By JENNIFER PELTZ and JULIA NIKHINSON Associated Press

Joey Chestnut is chomp champ again in July 4 hot dog contest

NEW YORK (AP) — Frankfurter-munching phenom Joey “Jaws” Chestnut put a protester in a chokehold while gobbling his way to a 15th win Monday at the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July hot dog eating contest, powering down 63 hot dogs and buns at the annual exhibition of excess. In a decisive chowdown comeback, women’s record-holder […]
1 day ago
FILE - Fireworks explode over Baltimore's Inner Harbor during the Ports America Chesapeake 4th of J...
BOBBY CAINA CALVAN ASSOCIATED PRESS

A turbulent US this July 4, but many see cause to celebrate

July 4 has arrived as many citizens struggle to find a reason to celebrate. Yet many also see cause for celebration, including President Joe Biden.
1 day ago
A Navy soldier stands guard as authorities wait for the arrival of people who were evacuated from t...
Associated Press

Tropical Storm Colin brings rain to Carolinas, weakens

Tropical Storm Colin formed along the coast on Saturday. Conditions are expected to improve by Monday's Fourth of July celebrations.
2 days ago
A female bison and calf are seen near the Yellowstone River in Wyoming's Hayden Valley, on Wednesda...
Mark Jones

2nd visitor in 3 days gored by Yellowstone National Park bison

In less than a week, two visitors to Yellowstone National Park have been gored by bison. Park officials say to stay at least 25 yards away from a bison.
4 days ago
Travelers wait in for a TSA security check at the Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles,...
DAVID KOENIG ASSOCIATED PRESS

Pre-pandemic sized crowds descend on US airports for holiday

TSA is reporting crowds of pre-pandemic size are traveling this Independence Day.
4 days ago
Residents stand in front of building destroyed by missiles in Ukraine...
FRANCESCA EBEL Associated Press

Russian missiles kill at least 19 in Ukraine’s Odesa region

The Ukrainian president's office said three Kh-22 missiles fired by Russian bombers struck an apartment building and a campsite.
4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
GOP seeks to curtail Senate work, but not Barrett hearings