COVID in the White House
The Senate has just a few weeks before Election Day to confirm President Trump's Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, and have scheduled her confirmation hearings for the week of Oct. 12. But with Trump facing a COVID-19 diagnosis, and with the Senate's Republican caucus temporarily down a member, they're reportedly getting nervous.
Democrats and at least one Republican have already pledged not to vote to confirm Barrett, so the Republican caucus has very few seats it can give up in the next few weeks. That's why, a GOP aide tells The Washington Post, some Republicans are asking Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to end the session and let senators stay home next week. "If some in the Republican caucus get sick, we are screwed," the aide said.
A source later confirmed this sentiment with Bloomberg's Josh Wingrove, who tweeted "there's fear among Senate Republicans about proceeding with a relatively needless session next week and risking someone falling ill." Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), a critical member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday, but promised to return in time for Barrett's hearings.
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) has said she won't vote to confirm Barrett along with every Senate Democrat. That leaves Republicans with just three seats to lose before Barrett's confirmation would be at risk.