Democrats are fighting tooth and nail to get Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to delay the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett.
But McConnell, who recently announced a halt to normal Senate operations, has confirmed that the hearings will move forward next week as scheduled, even though the Senate will not be taking on any other new business for at least two weeks.
Barrett hearings set to begin Oct. 12
“Judge Barrett’s hearings will begin one week from today,” McConnell announced on Twitter Monday evening.
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.
We will not stop working for the American people because Democrats are afraid they may lose a vote.
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) October 6, 2020
The fact that hearings are going to go on as planned is good news. A wave of panic had swept across conservatices after McConnell announced Senate operations were going to be temporarily suspended over COVID concerns.
The fact that Barrett’s hearings are going to continue has infuriated Democrats, who have been relentlessly demanding delays.
For instance, after two Republican senators tested positive for COVID-19 last week, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) seized on the new excuse and declared it was “irresponsible and dangerous to move forward with a hearing.”
McConnell isn’t buying that. “We’ve been operating successfully with masking and social distancing since May,” he said on Fox News on Tuesday. “We’re going to continue to operate. The American people are entitled to it and that’s what we are going to do.”
Is McConnell wavering?
As it stands right now, hearings are set to begin next week and Barrett could come out of committee by October 22. If that happens, most Republicans were expecting a vote to take place immediately, confirming her before the election.
On Thursday, however, McConnell broke the bad news that may not be the case.
McConnell stated, “I haven’t decided when the vote would occur on the floor, but we do anticipate Judge Barrett coming out of committee on Oct. 22. I think that’s a pretty likely outcome and then we’ll decide when to go forward.” Watch: