McConnell formally sidelines Senate floor action through October 19
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., offered a unanimous consent request to retool the upper chamber’s schedule on Monday, blocking floor action through Oct. 19 due to health concerns and senators quarantining after being exposed to COVID-19.
Sen. Tim Kaine, D-V.A., tried to extend the period where the Senate would not have any floor traffic, meeting only in pro forma sessions through November 3. McConnell, however, objected to Kaine’s request as such a move would have barred the Senate from considering the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett until after the upcoming presidential election.
McConnell had previously stated that any delay in the Senate’s return would not affect the status of Barrett’s nomination to the high court.
“The Senate’s floor schedule will not interrupt the thorough, fair, and historically supported confirmation process,” McConnell wrote on Saturday. “All Republican members of the committee will participate in these important hearings.”
He tweeted he had “another great call” with President Trump on Saturday, one day after the president announced he and First Lady Melania Trump had tested positive for the coronavirus. Trump was later taken to Walter Reed Medical Center out of an “abundance of caution,” but plans on leaving the hospital on MOnday evening.
“He sounds well and says he’s feeling good,” McConnell said. “We talked about the people’s business — fighting the pandemic, confirming Judge Barrett, and strengthening the economy for American families. Let’s keep our President & First Lady in our prayers.”.
The Senate will meet in pro forma sessions on Oct. 6 at 11:30 a.m. ET, Oct. 9 at 10 a.m. ET, Oct.13 at 8:45 a.m. ET and Oct.16 at 4:30 p.m. ET.
The Constitution requires the Senate and House to meet at three-day in intervals unless there is an agreement between the two bodies.
Fox News’ Brie Stimson contributed to this report