Brooklyn, N.Y.— Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today released the following statement in response to the Washington Post reporting last night that outside GOP advisors are “suggesting a system in which the committee vote would be held in the Senate chamber, with ill senators voting from the visitors’ galleries above the floor so they can maintain distance”:
“The Republican leadership has truly lost touch with reality if it’s contemplating marching COVID-stricken members to the Senate to rush through a Supreme Court nominee who could strip health care from 20 million Americans. Instead of engaging in continuously more absurd and dangerous behavior, Chairman Graham should halt this already illegitimate nomination process, and if he refuses, he must put into place a thorough testing procedure that is in accordance with CDC best practices before hearings can take place. Every Senator and relevant staff must have negative tests on two consecutive days and have completed the appropriate quarantining period, and there should be mandatory testing every day of the hearing. Testing must be administered by an independent entity, such as the Attending Physician of the United States Congress. Failure to implement a thorough testing approach would be intentionally reckless, and could reasonably lead some wonder if Chairman Graham and Leader McConnell may not want to know the results, because it could delay this already illegitimate process.
“Make no mistake about it, Americans are seeing the similarities between Republicans’ willingness to put their colleagues and staff at risk in pursuit of power, and their willingness to strip healthcare from tens of millions of Americans in pursuit of their ideological goals. “