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Romney, Collins, Murkowski won't attend GOP convention

Sens. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyCentrists gain leverage over progressives in Senate infrastructure battle The Hill's Morning Report - After high-stakes Biden-Putin summit, what now? China's genocide must be stopped MORE (R-Utah), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsWhite House reiterates opposition to raising gas tax amid infrastructure debate Centrists gain leverage over progressives in Senate infrastructure battle Lawmakers rally around cyber legislation following string of attacks MORE (R-Maine) and Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiTrump endorses Murkowski challenger Centrists gain leverage over progressives in Senate infrastructure battle Senate confirms Radhika Fox to lead EPA's water office 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.

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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 KavanaughOvernight Health Care: Takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision | COVID-19 cost 5.5 million years of American life | Biden administration investing billions in antiviral pills for COVID-19 Five takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision Supreme Court upholds ObamaCare in 7-2 ruling 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. 

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Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyFive takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision On The Money: Yellen, Powell brush off inflation fears | Fed keeps rates steady, upgrades growth projections Overnight Health Care: US buying additional 200M Moderna vaccine doses | CureVac's COVID-19 vaccine failed in preliminary trial results | Grassley meets with House Dems on drug prices 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 AlexanderLamar AlexanderAuthorities link ex-Tennessee governor to killing of Jimmy Hoffa associate The Republicans' deep dive into nativism Senate GOP faces retirement brain drain 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. 

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Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold Johnson14 Republicans vote against making Juneteenth a federal holiday Senate passes bill to make Juneteenth a federal holiday Jon Stewart: Coronavirus 'more than likely caused by science' 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 PortmanCentrists gain leverage over progressives in Senate infrastructure battle Lawmakers rally around cyber legislation following string of attacks The Hill's Morning Report - After high-stakes Biden-Putin summit, what now? 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 McConnellGraham quips key to working with Trump: We both 'like him' The Hill's Morning Report - ObamaCare here to stay Democrats scramble to unify before election bill brawl MORE (R-Ky.) said that "the leader has every intention of attending." 

Sen. Mike BraunMichael BraunIU parents protest school's vaccine mandates Rick Scott introduces bill banning 'vaccine passports' for domestic flights Braun-McConnell bill would protect Americans from IRS surveillance MORE (R-Ind.), who was elected to the Senate in 2018, tweeted on Tuesday that he would also be there.