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By Adam Rizvi, TIO: Mitch McConnell shut down most of the Senate’s activities until October 19, over the weekend, when it was announced that three Republican senators had tested positive for COVID-19. Though she made sure that Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearings would still move forward as scheduled starting on October 12.
Around the same ..time, Senator Tom Cotton suggested that Republican senators tested positive for the Coronavirus could be “wheeled in” to the Senate chamber to vote on her confirmation, to make sure it goes through before the Election Day.
Yes! Let that sink in. Republicans are saying that it’s too dangerous for the Senate to continue the normal business, including voting on Coronavirus relief bills, but not too dangerous to jam through Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation. And that if they ought to, they will risk infecting every other member of the Senate, staffers, drivers, security personnel, and others by bringing sick senators into the chamber to vote for her. As despicable it is, this is how far they are willing to go.
A week ago, it seemed that there was little that could be done to stop Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation, but the news over the past few days has changed everything and is yet another reason why her confirmation must be stopped. Republicans should do what’s right and that Democrats do whatever they can to stop this process in its tracks over the next few weeks.
Last week, it appeared that Mitch McConnell had the votes to force through this nomination, with only Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski coming forward to say that they would vote against a nominee this close to an election.
Three Republican senators—Mike Lee, Thom Tillis, and Ron Johnson—have tested positive for COVID-19. Both Lee and Tillis are on the Judiciary Committee and would be needed to vote in-person to advance Barrett’s nomination from the committee to a full vote on the floor and then again to confirm her. Although senators can participate in the committee hearing remotely, a majority of the committee must be present to vote on her nomination and advance it to the floor of the Senate.
If either Senor Lee. Tillis cannot be there in person to vote and Democrats on the committee boycott the hearing, the committee will not have the quorum needed for a vote on her nomination. Or if both Tillis and Lee are unable to be there in person to vote, the committee would be tied at 10-10, and Senate rules do not concede for a tiebreaker.
It is shocking and unacceptable that we even need to think through the fact that both of these scenarios are even possible,. At least three senators are currently tested positive for COVID-19. Many others may have been exposed at the very event that announced Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination.
The only right way forward is for this nomination process to be put to a halt as it is morbid and shocking for it to move forward under these circumstances.
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The news over the past few days has been flabbergasting. At least 28 White House staff and close allies of Donald Trump—including Trump himself—have tested positive for COVID-19. Many were likely infected at a super-spreader event hosted by the White House, in violation of the government’s safety protocols.
Although everyone who was infected at that event has access to high-quality health care. Trump has been given a cocktail of experimental treatments not available to the millions of other Americans who have been infected. And others have admitted themselves to the hospital as a “precaution,” unlike so many in our country who were turned away from emergency rooms and told to come back only if and when they could barely breathe.
And that is exactly the type of health care policy that Trump, the GOP, and Amy Coney Barrett support: top-quality care for the wealthy, scraps for the rest. And it is precisely why Barrett cannot take a seat on the Supreme Court. She will vote to strip health care from millions, in the middle of a pandemic that has now reached the highest office in our country.
A week ago, this didn’t look like a fight we could win, But everything has changed.
Compiled and Curated By Humra Kidwai and Maham Abbasi.