McConnell will not meet with Obama's nominee
© Greg Nash

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump's plan to claw back spending hits wall in Congress GOP lawmakers want Trump to stop bashing Congress Parkland father calls out Trump, McConnell, Ryan after Santa Fe shooting MORE (R-Ky.) on Tuesday said he won't even meet with President Obama's nominee to the Supreme Court.

McConnell said Republican members of the Judiciary Committee unanimously recommended to him that there should not be confirmation hearings this year to fill the vacancy created by Justice Antonin Scalia's death.

In light of that, McConnell said, a meeting with Obama’s nominee is unnecessary.

“I don’t know the purpose of such a visit [by the nominee.] I would not be inclined to take one myself,” he said.

Senate Republican Whip John CornynJohn CornynOvernight Finance: House panel to take up bill toughening review of foreign deals | Trump acknowledges Cohen payment on disclosure form | Officials set for new round of China trade talks Groups urge Senate panel to reject Trump's pick for Louisiana-based appeals court House panel will consider bill to boost foreign investment review powers next week MORE (R-Texas) echoed that position.

“I don’t see the point of going through the motions and creating a misleading impression that something else is going on,” Cornyn said.

McConnell said the rest of the Senate Republican Conference backed him in a lunchtime meeting Tuesday. 

"The overwhelming view of the Republican conference in the Senate is this vacancy should not be filled by this lame-duck president," he told reporters.

McConnell dug in his heels at an afternoon press conference as reporters peppered him with questions about his decision.

“I have many faults, but getting off message is not one of them. This nomination will be determined by whoever wins the presidency in the fall. I agree with the Judiciary Committee’s recommendation that we not have hearings,” he said.

“In short, there will not be action taken.”

Minutes before the GOP press conference, Sen. Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSchumer: GOP efforts to identify FBI informant 'close to crossing a legal line' Patients deserve the 'right to try' How the embassy move widens the partisan divide over Israel MORE (D-N.Y.) stood by his party's assertion that Republicans would face “tremendous pressure” from Democrats and from the public to consider a nominee. 

“The bottom line is, I think there’s going to be enough pressure on the Republicans and do their job and have hearings and a vote,” Schumer, the chamber’s second-highest-ranking Democrat, said as he headed to the briefing. 

Updated at 3:45 p.m.