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Harris to take part in Barrett hearings remotely

Harris to take part in Barrett hearings remotely
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Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisBrown vows Democrats will 'find a way' to raise minimum wage Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson vs. Donald Trump: A serious comparison Exclusive: How Obama went to bat for Warren MORE (D-Calif.), the Democratic vice presidential nominee, will take part in this week's confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett remotely from her Senate office, a spokesperson said on Sunday, citing Republicans' response to a recent coronavirus outbreak. 

"Due to Judiciary Committee Republicans’ refusal to take commonsense steps to protect members, aides, Capitol complex workers, and members of the media, Senator Harris plans to participate in this week’s hearings remotely from her Senate office in the Hart building," said Chris Harris, a spokesman for the Democratic senator.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to start four days of hearings for Barrett on Monday. Senators have the option of participating remotely, though the judge is expected to testify in person. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamPortman on Trump's dominance of GOP: Republican Party's policies are 'even more popular' Overnight Defense: Biden sends message with Syria airstrike | US intel points to Saudi crown prince in Khashoggi killing | Pentagon launches civilian-led sexual assault commission Graham: Trump will 'be helpful' to all Senate GOP incumbents MORE (R-S.C.) has also said he will oversee the hearing in person. 

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Kamala Harris said earlier Sunday that "Chairman Graham and Senate Republicans are endangering the lives of not just members and our staff, but the hardworking people who keep the Senate complex running" by moving forward with the hearings. 

The Judiciary Committee has put social distancing measures in place, including spreading out senators and limiting staff and press in the room. But Democrats had called on Graham to either delay the hearing or require testing, which the GOP chairman rejected. 

Sens. Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisMcConnell backs Garland for attorney general GOP senators demand probe into Cuomo's handling of nursing home deaths CNN anchor confronts GOP chairman over senator's vote to convict Trump MORE (R-N.C.) and Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeCPAC, all-in for Trump, is not what it used to be OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Key vote for Haaland's confirmation | Update on oil and gas leasing | SEC update on climate-related risk disclosure requirements Haaland on drilling lease moratorium: 'It's not going to be a permanent thing' MORE (R-Utah) both tested positive recently for the coronavirus. Two other GOP members of the committee, Sens. Ben SasseBen SasseKinzinger: GOP 'certainly not united' on 'vision for the future' Sasse rebuked by Nebraska Republican Party over impeachment vote Trump at CPAC foments 2022 GOP primary wars MORE (R-Neb.) and Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzFive takeaways from CPAC 2021 Trump wins CPAC straw poll with 55 percent 'SNL' envisions Fauci as game show host, giving winners vaccines MORE (R-Texas), are self-isolating but are expected to return this week for all or part of the hearings. 

Sen. Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstBill to shorten early voting period, end Election Day early in Iowa heads to governor's desk We know how Republicans will vote — but what do they believe? The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by TikTok - Senate trial will have drama, but no surprise ending MORE (R-Iowa), a member of the committee who is in a tough reelection bid, said on Saturday that she thought members of the committee should get tested. 

“I actually do think that it would be smart to do that, and I hate to do it without having reasons to do so, but I think if we’re going to be working in close proximity over long hours, it’s probably not a bad idea,” she told reporters in the Hawkeye State on Saturday. 

Graham has defended the decision to start the hearings on Monday, noting that the committee room will comply with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. 

"We're setting the hearing room up based on CDC guidelines. I just got a statement today from the Architect of the Capitol, who consulted with the House physician saying that the room is set up in a compliant way," Graham said during a forum in South Carolina late last week.