Senate Republicans have called off legislative work until Oct. 19 as the coronavirus makes its way through their ranks. But confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett will go on as planned.
The Senate was supposed to reconvene this week before the Oct. 12 hearings. Now Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says they'll push ahead even if Democrats agree to cancel the regular session to limit the spread of the virus.
He said: "The Senate's floor schedule will not interrupt the thorough, fair and historically supported confirmation process. Certainly, all Republican members of the committee will participate in these important hearings."
The schedule adjustment would require unanimous consent, but Democrats haven't agreed to McConnell's request yet.
Since Friday morning, President Donald Trump and three GOP senators have tested positive for COVID-19. Two of the senators are members of the judiciary committee handling Barrett's confirmation hearings, and it's not yet clear if their absences might delay the process.
The positive results have raised concerns about recent events where the virus could've spread to other lawmakers. Senate Republicans meet three times a week for lunch, and they remove their masks to eat and speak. And many attended the White House Rose Garden ceremony where the president nominated Barrett. Few there were wearing masks or social distancing.