Romney, Collins, Murkowski won't attend GOP convention

Sens. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyFrom a Republican donor to Senate GOP: Remove marriage penalty or risk alienating voters Tennessee primary battle turns nasty for Republicans NRCC poll finds McBath ahead of Handel in Georgia MORE (R-Utah), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsCoronavirus deal key to Republicans protecting Senate majority From a Republican donor to Senate GOP: Remove marriage penalty or risk alienating voters The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump's visit to battleground Ohio overshadowed by coronavirus MORE (R-Maine) and Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiOn The Money: Pessimism grows as coronavirus talks go down to the wire | Jobs report poised to light fire under COVID-19 talks | Tax preparers warn unemployment recipients could owe IRS Pessimism grows as coronavirus talks go down to the wire Hillicon Valley: Facebook removes Trump post | TikTok gets competitor | Lawmakers raise grid safety concerns MORE (R-Alaska) will not attend the GOP convention next month in Florida, aides for the senators confirmed to The Hill. 

An aide for Collins noted that she was never planning to attend the GOP convention because she does not go when she herself is up for reelection. Collins is in a tight race this year that could be pivotal in determining who holds the Senate majority in the next Congress.

Spokespeople for Romney and Murkowski didn't immediately respond to follow-up questions about whether their plans were related to the coronavirus as the country sees an increase in cases.

ADVERTISEMENT

Both senators have had high-profile clashes with Trump; Romney was the only Republican senator to vote to impeach the president earlier this year, while Murkowski opposed ObamaCare's repeal and Supreme Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughMcConnell has 17-point lead over Democratic challenger McGrath: poll Davis: My recommendation for vice president on Biden ticket Kavanaugh urged Supreme Court to avoid decisions on Trump finances, abortion: report MORE's nomination. 

Romney declined last month to say who he's voting for but indicated to The Atlantic in February that he could write in his wife's name, which is what he did in 2016. 

"I’m not going to be describing who I’ll be voting for, I don't imagine," Romney told reporters last month

Murkowski, who did not vote for Trump in 2016, told reporters last month that she was "struggling" with whether support him in November. 

The three GOP senators are the latest Republican lawmakers to say this week that they do not plan to attend the convention. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyMcConnell goes hands-off on coronavirus relief bill GOP chairmen hit back at accusation they are spreading disinformation with Biden probe On The Money: Unemployment debate sparks GOP divisions | Pandemic reveals flaws of unemployment insurance programs | Survey finds nearly one-third of rehired workers laid off again MORE (R-Iowa), the oldest Republican senator, on Monday became the first to formally say he would skip the gathering. He told Iowa reporters that he would not attend because of the coronavirus. 

Sen. Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderSeveral GOP lawmakers express concern over Trump executive orders The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the Air Line Pilots Association - Negotiators 'far apart' as talks yield little ahead of deadline Trump-backed Hagerty wins Tennessee GOP Senate primary MORE (R-Tenn.), who is retiring at the end of the year, also announced Tuesday that he would not attend, with his office saying he was saving delegate spots for people who had not previously gone to a party convention. 

Republicans announced last month that they were moving the main events, including Trump's speech accepting the party's nomination, from Charlotte, N.C., to Jacksonville, Fla., amid a break with North Carolina's governor over whether the convention could go forward without social distancing measures in place. 

Florida is seeing an uptick in its number of coronavirus cases and reported 11,458 new cases on July 4, marking an all-time single-day high

Several other GOP senators have indicated that their convention plans are in flux. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonBlumenthal calls for declassification of materials detailing Russian threat to US elections Democrats try to force Trump to boost medical supplies production GOP chairmen hit back at accusation they are spreading disinformation with Biden probe MORE (R-Wis.) told a Wisconsin TV station late last week that he hadn't yet made a decision on attending, adding that he wanted to know "what kind of social distancing, what kind of precautions are being taken."

Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanNot a pretty picture: Money laundering and America's art market Pessimism grows as coronavirus talks go down to the wire Senators holding behind-the-scenes talks on breaking coronavirus package stalemate MORE (R-Ohio) told Ohio reporters last month that he wanted to "see what the situation is" on the coronavirus before making a decision.

Even as some GOP senators announced that they would not be attending, some of their colleagues confirmed they would attend. 

A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump signs executive orders after coronavirus relief talks falter Coronavirus deal key to Republicans protecting Senate majority Coronavirus talks collapse as negotiators fail to reach deal MORE (R-Ky.) said that "the leader has every intention of attending." 

Sen. Mike BraunMichael BraunSkepticism grows over Friday deadline for coronavirus deal Negotiators hit gas on coronavirus talks as frustration mounts Lawmakers aim for COVID-19 relief deal this week MORE (R-Ind.), who was elected to the Senate in 2018, tweeted on Tuesday that he would also be there.