Schumer Vents Frustration After McConnell Announces Barrett Judiciary Hearings Will Convene As Planned

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) released a statement Saturday regarding the upcoming Senate floor schedule, saying for the next two weeks “the Senate [will] meet in pro forma sessions” upon obtaining “a consent agreement”, and “previously-scheduled floor activity will be rescheduled until after October 19th.”

However, McConnell noted, “The important work of the Senate’s committees can and will continue as each committee sees fit”, through “a hybrid method”; physically and virtually.

“The Senate Judiciary Committee will convene on October 12th as Chairman Graham has scheduled to begin confirmation hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court. The Senate’s floor schedule will not interrupt the thorough, fair, and historically supported confirmation process previously laid out by Chairman Graham,” Senator McConnell said in his statement.

“Since May, the Judiciary Committee has operated flawlessly through a hybrid method that has seen some Senators appear physically at its hearings while other members have participated virtually. The Committee has utilized this format successfully for many months while protecting the health and safety of all involved. Certainly all Republican members of the committee will participate in these important hearings,” he added.

The Senate Majority Leader’s statement comes after Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) tweeted on Friday, “We now have two members of the Senate Judiciary Committee who have tested positive for COVID, and there may be more. I wish my colleagues well. It is irresponsible and dangerous to move forward with a hearing, and there is absolutely no good reason to do so.”

Schumer vented his frustration again on Saturday after McConnell announced the Judiciary hearings for Judge Barrett will convene as planned: “The decision to recess the Senate for 2 weeks after at least 3 GOP Senators have tested positive for COVID makes clear that the Senate cannot proceed with business as usual If it’s too dangerous to have the Senate in session, it’s too dangerous for committee hearings to continue,” he tweeted Saturday. Continued Below

Senator Mitch McConnell’s statement:

Senator Chuck Schumer’s tweets:

Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT), Thom Tillis (R-NC), and Ron Johnson (R-WI) have tested positive for COVID-19 this week.

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) chair of the Judiciary Committee, said on Friday that the hearing for Judge Amy Coney Barrett will occur on October 12 as planned. “…Look[ing] forward to the hearing for Judge Amy Coney Barrett on Oct. 12. Any Senator who wants to participate virtually will be allowed to do so,” he tweeted.

(Related: Schumer Gets Heckled During Outdoor Press Conference & Confronted Over Previous SCOTUS Remarks: “Jesus Saves!”)