WASHINGTON – A corona virus outbreak that infected President Trump in the Senate on Friday threw a new element of uncertainty. In a pause.
Pulling out a complex commitment that would touch all three branches of government in the remaining four weeks before the election promised that it would always be a difficult task for Republicans in the midst of an epidemic. But by Friday evening, the challenge had grown steeper in the White House and Congress turmoil, with two Republican members of the Judiciary Committee, including Utah senators Mike Lee and Tham Dillis of North Carolina, announcing that they had tested positive for the virus.
Oct. – Even if it violates Senate rules and considers a lifetime judicial appointment by video conference. But the recent explosion is likely to cause Republicans to lose their slim majority on the judiciary or the Senate.
Mr. This is a new reason to call for a delay for Democrats who have already objected to Trump establishing a new Supreme Court justice very close to the election. Seeing the potential opening, top Democrats called on the Senate to suspend and assess the magnitude of the explosion. They declared that a full virtual trial for a candidate seeking a lifetime appointment in the country’s Supreme Court was unacceptable.
“It is very important that President Graham puts senators, appointments and staff health first – and ensures a thorough and fair investigation that is quick and uninterrupted and not virtual,” said New York senators Chuck Schumer, chairman of the Minority Leader and Coalition of the Diane Judiciary Committee’s . “Otherwise this process, which is already illegal, will become a dangerous one.”
Friday evening, Mr. After Dillis announced his positive test result, Mr. Schumer renewed his call for a delay, writing on Twitter that it was “irresponsible and dangerous” to go ahead with the investigation.
“There is no good reason to do so,” he said.
But Senator Lindsay Graham, a Republican from South Carolina and chairman of the committee, promised to stick to her schedule, and Senator Mitch McConnell, a Republican majority leader in Kentucky, said he would like to move the nomination once the committee approves. It.
“I ended up having a great phone call with OT Potts,” Mr. McConnell Wrote on Twitter Friday. “He’s in good spirits. We talked business – especially how impressed the senators were with Judge Barrett’s qualifications.
Republican officials said there was no doubt that senators would find a way through the appointment in connection with Democrats’ protests. But Republicans will not be able to sideline many members by disease, which will allow Democrats to halt action. Two Republican senators, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, have already raised objections to the move ahead of the election, reducing the moving room to a 53-47 Republican majority.
Mr McConnell has insisted throughout the epidemic that the Senate should continue to meet face-to-face, but he acknowledged Friday that keeping Republican senators healthy is key to the fate of the appointment.
“I think every precaution must be taken because we do not expect any democratic support from the committee or the entire Senate, so everyone should join hands and keep in mind,” he told conservative radio presenter Hugh Hewitt.
Poses surrounding the court fight Government officials at the White House and Capitol Hill spent Friday racing to find out how far it had spread to find those in contact with known carriers of the virus.
Mr. Judge Barrett was nearby when Trump announced his candidacy at Rose Garden a week ago, where some masks or other precautions were evident at a well-attended ceremony. The president of the University of Notre Dame, the Rev. Fr. John I. Jenkins announced Friday that he, too, had tested positive.
Mr. Lee and Mr. Dillis was one of at least eight Republican senators who attended the White House event, where he videotaped Mr Lee hugging other participants without a mask. Mr. Dillis was wearing a mask.
Both are on the Judiciary panel, and this week at Capitol Hill more than a dozen people met Judge Barrett without masks. Mr. Dillis’ office released a photo of the senator and the recommended elbows. Judge Barrett ordered Mr. By putting Graham on the path to re-emergence on the day he wanted, they felt better, but both senators said they would be isolated for 10 days following his diagnosis.
Mr. Trump or other lawmakers who were close to his aides said they were being tested. Among them Mr. Graham, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Florida Republican Senators Rick Scott and Georgia Republican Senator Kelly Lofler announced that they had tested negative.
Republican members of the congressional delegation from Minnesota also flew with the president from Washington to a campaign rally in Tuluth, Air Force One, and said they would be tested.
Ohio’s Republican Rep. Jim Jordan flew with the president in Air Force One to Cleveland on Tuesday for the presidential debate, and with Hope Hicks, a close aide of Mr. Trump who tested positive on Thursday. Mr. Jordan announced Friday that it had tested negative.
Concerns about the eruption appeared to cause a change in Congress’ worst approach to testing the thousands of people running in and out of the Capitol campus each week, many of whom are flying across the country.
Office of the attending physician Informed legislators The same day on Friday the test will be given to lawmakers who showed signs of corona virus in the Capitol or exposed to someone who tested positive. The office said staff members who have been in contact with someone who has done a positive test may also receive the test.
Mr. On the health outlook on Capitol after Trump’s positive test, Mr. The announcement came after Schumacher expressed deep concern.
“This chapter demonstrates that the Senate needs a testing and communication tracking program for the Senate, staff and everyone working on the Capitol campus,” he said. Schumer said. “The horse mentality of the administration cannot be allowed to adversely affect this branch of government. All decisions must be made public to control possible outbreaks, so we can determine the need to isolate or self-isolate senators and staff.”
New fears about the spread of the virus have led Democrats to oppose the appointment of Judge Barrett, who is already angry that Republicans are vying to secure a Supreme Court justice too close to the election, after President Barack Obama blocked filling a vacancy nine months ago on Election Day 2016.
But with President Trump’s re-election in doubt and his party in danger of losing its Senate majority, Republicans are still eager to confirm the candidate quickly. Mr. Trump was elected in 2016, and since the Republicans won seats in the Senate in 2018, they have insisted that progress with the appointment is fair, an argument that will be offset by losses in November.
Some Republican advisers offered to cut off plans to stop the Senate session next week, hoping Republican senators would reduce the risk of injury. But the adjournment will not be under Mr. McConnell’s control. He was in favor of allowing senators to go home, but Democrats tried to inflict pain on Republicans for rushing to fill the Supreme Court seat, refusing to go with it, and using parliamentary tactics to prevent it.
According to Judge Barrett, two officers on her medical history said she already had the corona virus and had recovered this year, which would give her some immunity. But it is not yet clear whether he will continue to meet face-to-face with senators next week.
He tested negative for the virus on Friday, officials said.
Emily Cochrane and Katie Edmonton contributed to the reporting.