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McConnell: Plan is to confirm Trump's Supreme Court pick before election

McConnell: Plan is to confirm Trump's Supreme Court pick before election
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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump selects South Carolina lawyer for impeachment trial McConnell proposes postponing impeachment trial until February For Biden, a Senate trial could aid bipartisanship around COVID relief MORE (R-Ky.) said on Tuesday night that he expects Republicans will confirm President TrumpDonald TrumpIran's leader vows 'revenge,' posting an image resembling Trump Former Sanders spokesperson: Biden 'backing away' from 'populist offerings' Justice Dept. to probe sudden departure of US attorney in Atlanta after Trump criticism MORE's Supreme Court nominee before the election. 

"That's the plan and there's nothing I can see that would keep that from happening," McConnell said during a Fox News interview when asked if Judge Amy Coney Barrett would be confirmed to the Supreme Court before Nov. 3. 

McConnell has repeatedly hinted that he would bring up Barrett's nomination for a vote before the election, including saying last week that he would take it up as soon as it comes out the Judiciary Committee. Under Graham's timeline, that would pave the way for a final vote on the Senate floor for the final week of October. 

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But he's also previously been cagey about saying directly that he would hold a vote before the election, even as several of his members, the White House and strategists involved in the court fight have said they expect that to be the chamber's timeline. 

McConnell's decision to say the Senate will take up Barrett's nomination before the election comes as an outbreak of the coronavirus has injected fresh doubt into the GOP's aggressive timeline for confirming Trump's pick to succeed the late Justice Ruth Bader GinsburgRuth Bader GinsburgNYC street and subway signs transformed to welcome Biden, bid farewell to Trump Schumer and McConnell trade places, but icy relationship holds Schumer becomes new Senate majority leader MORE

Three GOP senators—Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisSchumer becomes new Senate majority leader Democrats see Georgia as model for success across South McConnell about to school Trump on political power for the last time MORE (N.C), Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeThe Hill's Morning Report - Biden takes office, calls for end to 'uncivil war' Senate confirms Biden's intel chief, giving him first Cabinet official Republicans wrestle over removing Trump MORE (Utah) and Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonGOP senators call for commission to investigate Capitol attack Wisconsin Democrats make ad buy calling on Johnson to resign Efforts to secure elections likely to gain ground in Democrat-controlled Congress MORE (Wis.)—have tested positive for the coronavirus. An additional three GOP senators—Ben SasseBen SasseSenate approves waiver for Biden's Pentagon nominee Budowsky: Democracy won, Trump lost, President Biden inaugurated Pompeo labels China's treatment of Uighurs 'genocide' MORE (Neb.), Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzFor Biden, a Senate trial could aid bipartisanship around COVID relief Senate Democrats file ethics complaint against Hawley, Cruz over Capitol attack Poll: Majority of voters support bipartisan commission to probe potential irregularities in the 2020 election MORE (Texas) and James LankfordJames Paul LankfordThe Hill's 12:30 Report: What to expect for inauguration GOP Sen. Lankford apologizes to Black constituents for opposing election results 'I saw my life flash before my eyes': An oral history of the Capitol attack MORE (Okla.)—have tested negative but are self-quarantining after being around their colleagues. 

Underscoring how the coronavirus could impact the party's SCOTUS plan, four of those six Republicans are on the Judiciary Committee. Republicans have a 12-10 majority on the panel, and are likely to need all of their members present for an Oct. 22 committee vote on Barrett's nomination. 

Under the panel's rules, to send a nomination to the floor, a majority of the committee has to be present. Democrats are not expected to help them meet the quorum requirement if a Republican senator is expected to be absent. 

McConnell, during the Fox News interview, defended how the Senate has handled the coronavirus, saying that it could "operate successfully in a COVID environment." 

"The current members that have a problem, got it somewhere else, not here in the Senate," McConnell added.