Sen. McConnell says Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation will begin Monday

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said it’s full-speed ahead to hold confirmation hearings for President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett, despite a number of Republican senators ailing from the coronavirus.

“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,” McConnell said on Twitter Monday evening. “We will not stop working for the American people because Democrats are afraid they may lose a vote.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is scheduled to begin the hearings on his panel on Monday – a timeline that would allow a full Senate vote before the Nov. 3 election.

The timeline was put in doubt over the weekend when two GOP members of the committee – Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Thom Tillis of North Carolina – were infected by the coronavirus.

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) also tested positive.

McConnell needs 51 votes to confirm Barrett, who would replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, in the Senate, which the GOP controls 53-47.

But two senators – Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins of Maine – have opposed Barrett’s nomination in an election year.

Senate Democrats have pointed to the three ill Republicans to call for the hearings to be postponed because it’s still unclear how much the coronavirus has spread in the chamber.

“As we continue to learn of additional colleagues testing positive for COVID-19, it is increasingly clear that rushing Amy Coney Barrett’s hearing forward in the midst of a COVID outbreak in the White House and Senate would turn an illegitimate process into a reckless and dangerous one,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York said Sunday.

Barrett’s confirmation would give the court a 6-3 conservative majority.

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