Sen. Kamala Harris, the Democratic vice presidential nominee, on Sunday said she will participate in Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings remotely from her office because of coronavirus risks.
“Due to Judiciary Committee Republicans’ refusal to take common sense steps to protect members, aides, Capitol complex workers, and members of the media, Senator Harris plans to participate in this week’s hearings remotely from her Senate office in the Hart building,” a spokesperson for Harris said in a statement.
The announcement came after the California lawmaker slammed Senate Republicans and the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Lindsay Graham, for going forward with the hearings after three GOP senators — including two on the committee — contracted the virus.
“By moving forward with Supreme Court confirmation hearings tomorrow — less than 2 weeks after members tested positive — Chairman Graham and Senate Republicans are endangering the lives of not just members and our staff, but the hardworking people who keep the Senate complex running,” Harris tweeted.
Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), both committee members, tested positive for the virus after attending the Sept. 26 Rose Garden ceremony where President Trump formally introduced Barrett as his nominee.
They have both said they hoped to be recovered and be present for the hearings, which begin on Monday.
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, of New York, has called on Graham (R-S.C.) to get tested for COVID-19 before the hearings begin because he has been exposed to those with the disease.
Graham told Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures” that he took a test last week and was negative.
“Anybody that has a concern about showing up can virtually interview Judge Barrett,” he added. “She will be there. I will be there… We’re going to work safely.”
It’s unclear exactly how many senators will join Harris and participate in the proceedings remotely.
Harris, Joe Biden’s running mate in the presidential election, is expected to be in the spotlight when Democrats question Trump’s High Court nominee, especially after her grilling of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearings in 2018.
With Post Wires
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