Trump suspends coronavirus relief talks with Democrats
Fox News Chief White House Correspondent John Roberts joins ‘Special Report’ with the latest out of Washington, DC.
President Trump declared on Twitter Tuesday evening that the Senate battle to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court “will be fast and easy.”
He made the statement in response to a tweet from Paul Sperry, who predicted the process would be “bloody.”
Earlier on Tuesday, President Trump said he asked Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to focus on Barrett’s confirmation rather than stalled negotiations over the next federal coronavirus-relief bill.
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Senate Democrats have pushed back against the nomination, arguing that whoever wins next month’s presidential election should be the one to choose a nominee to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett looks over to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., as they meet with on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, POOL)
And Democrats also called for delaying confirmation hearings until the Senate is able to host in-person hearings, which have been disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic – a notion McConnell dismissed in an appearance on “The Story with Martha MacCallum” Tuesday night.
“We've been dealing with this since May — all of a sudden, it's become disabling,” McConnell said. “This is just another effort to try to delay the process on this outstanding Supreme Court nominee that the president has sent up to the Senate.”
That comes after three Senate Republicans have tested positive for the coronavirus themselves, including two who are on the Judiciary Committee.
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As a precautionary measure, McConnell said the hearing would be held under a hybrid format, with some senators physically in the room and some taking part virtually. The hearing will also take place in a larger room than the committee usually meets in to accommodate social distancing.
“A virtual hearing is virtually no hearing at all,” Sen. Chuck Schumer, the Democratic leader, said.
But McConnell also invoked Sen. Ted Cruz, who said earlier that Senate Republicans believed they have enough votes to secure Barrett’s confirmation.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, the Judiciary Committee chairman, has set Oct. 12 as the expected beginning date of the nomination process, and the timetable appears to remain the same even though two committee members, Sens. Mike Lee and Thom Tillis, came down with the illness.
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Fox News’ Tyler Olsen and Brooke Singman contributed to this report.
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