McConnell vows ‘full steam ahead’ on Barrett as fears rise of virus outbreak

Sen. Mike Lee, a key Republican on the Judiciary Committee, announced he had tested positive for the coronavirus.

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enate Republicans insisted Friday they have no plans to delay Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court confirmation — but a key member of the Senate Judiciary Committee tested positive for the coronavirus and Washington was roiled by a possible outbreak at the White House.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Friday said the chamber intends to move “full steam ahead” on Barrett’s nomination. And the Judiciary Committee will proceed with hearings later this month, according to a GOP aide, though some portions of it may be conducted remotely.

But hours after President Donald Trump announced he had contracted the virus, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) said he had tested positive, too. The Utah Republican is a critical member of the Judiciary panel and attended Barrett’s announcement on Saturday at the White House. He also met with Barrett on Tuesday and attended committee meetings and party lunches later in the week where he may have infected other senators.

Senate Judiciary Chair Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is scheduled to begin hearings for Barrett on Oct. 12, and is planning to hold a committee vote on the nomination on Oct. 22. In his statement, Lee said he planned to quarantine for 10 days and expected to be able to provide support for Barrett in the committee.


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