Romney to self-quarantine after Paul tests positive
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) on Sunday became the second senator to self-quarantine after Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) announced that he had tested positive for the coronavirus.
The announcement came less than an hour after the Senate was set to hold a procedural vote on a massive coronavirus stimulus package, leaving Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) short another GOP vote.
“Since Senator Romney sat next to Senator Paul for extended periods in recent days and consistent with [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] guidance, the attending physician has ordered him to immediately self-quarantine and not to vote on the Senate floor,” Romney’s office said in a statement on Sunday.
Romney’s office added that the Utah senator “has no symptoms but will be tested.”
Romney’s decision comes after Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) announced he also would self-quarantine in response to Paul’s positive test. They are two of several GOP senators who are currently in self-quarantine because of exposure to an individual who tested positive.
McConnell would need 60 votes and Democratic support to pass the procedural hurdle on the stimulus package. The decisions by multiple GOP senators to self-quarantine are temporarily cutting away at the Senate GOP’s 53-47 majority.
Romney urged his colleagues to support the massive stimulus package, which he has been involved in negotiating.
“He urges members to pass a relief package as quickly as possible that provides assistance for families, workers and small businesses,” he said.
With Paul, Lee and Romney self-quarantined, in addition to Sens. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) and Rick Scott (R-Fla.), who announced they self-quarantined after contacts with individuals who tested positive, the breakdown in the Senate is currently 48-47. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) had previously self-quarantined but are out of isolation.