Senator Lindsey Graham, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, isn’t going to allow Democrats to halt the confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, a thing they’ve been trying to find any excuse to do since the moment Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed.
Democrats are raising the issue that various senators have contracted the Chinese coronavirus and that, as such, the only way to safely conduct the hearings is to delay them. However, despite repeated calls to delay the hearings, Graham is making it known that rain or shine, virus or not, this hearing is happening.
According to The Hill, Graham appeared on Fox News with Maria Bartiromo’s “Sunday Morning Futures” to address the requests to postpone the hearings in the name of safety. Graham made it clear that he takes the safety of his colleagues seriously, but they’re going to show up for work on Monday just like every other American has to:
The South Carolina Republican, who is in a close race for reelection, said the coronavirus threat is “real” and he takes it “seriously.” He said the architect of the Capitol and the physician for the House and the Senate will set up the hearing room to ensure it follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.
Graham said he was tested for the virus last week and “there’s no reason for me to be tested.”
“Anybody that has a concern about showing up can virtually interview Judge Barrett,” he said. “She will be there. I will be there.”
“And, to my Democratic colleagues, America has to go to work Monday including us,” Graham added. “We’re going to work. We’re going to work safely. If you don’t want to come to the committee hearing, you can interview the judge virtually.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has also received the calls from Democrats and has taken much the same line, The Hill reported in the same article.
“That’s the plan and there’s nothing I can see that would keep that from happening,” he said during his own interview on Fox News.
Graham has made it clear in the past that Democrats have no excuse to not attend the hearings, noting that if they’re that scared of the virus, then they can simply show up virtually, as they have been for all of the committee hearings. Democrats have tried to sell the idea that this was too important for virtual attendance, but Republicans aren’t buying it.
According to Ted Cruz, who will be attending the hearings virtually for the first two days and then in person the rest, also shares Graham’s resolve to move forward, and that Barrett’s confirmation will be accomplished.
“I’m very confident. I believe we have the votes. I believe we’ll get it done,” Cruz told the Washington Post. “As I see it, we have a solid 51 votes right now. And from the conversations in the conference, I don’t see that changing.”
As it stands, Barrett’s confirmation is happening, whether Democrats want it to or not. It’s unlikely Barrett will receive any votes in her favor from them, but as Cruz has made clear, the Senate Republicans have the votes. One way or another, Barrett will be confirmed.