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Graham dismisses calls to delay Barrett confirmation hearings

Graham dismisses calls to delay Barrett confirmation hearings
© Greg Nash

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamOvernight 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 John Boehner tells Cruz to 'go f--- yourself' in unscripted audiobook asides: report MORE (R-S.C.) on Sunday dismissed calls from fellow senators to delay Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney BarrettAmy Coney BarrettThe Jan. 6 case for ending the Senate filibuster Laurence Tribe: Justice Thomas is out of order on 2020 election McConnell backs Garland for attorney general MORE’s confirmation hearings, saying the lawmakers will “go to work safely” on Monday.

Fox News’ Maria BartiromoMaria Sara BartiromoGaetz suggests DeSantis could run for president in 2024 if Trump is out of the picture Bartiromo, Pirro, Dobbs file to dismiss Smartmatic lawsuits Fox News labels .7B Smartmatic defamation suit 'meritless' in motion to dismiss MORE asked Graham on “Sunday Morning Futures” about some senators requesting to postpone the hearing after two GOP members of the panel tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this month. 

“Well, we're going to do what every American has to do come Monday – go to work safely,” Graham answered. 

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Graham scheduled Barrett’s confirmation hearings to start on Monday as Republicans have committed to moving forward with the judge’s confirmation ahead of the election.

The South Carolina Republican, who is in a close race for reelection, said the coronavirus threat is “real” and he takes it “seriously.” He said the architect of the Capitol and the physician for the House and the Senate will set up the hearing room to ensure it follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. 

Graham said he was tested for the virus last week and “there’s no reason for me to be tested.”

“Anybody that has a concern about showing up can virtually interview Judge Barrett,” he said. “She will be there. I will be there.”

“And, to my Democratic colleagues, America has to go to work Monday including us,” Graham added. “We're going to work. We're going to work safely. If you don't want to come to the committee hearing, you can interview the judge virtually.”

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Questions arose over whether Barrett’s confirmation hearings would continue as planned when Sens. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeOVERNIGHT 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' Overnight Health Care: US surpasses half a million COVID deaths | House panel advances Biden's .9T COVID-19 aid bill | Johnson & Johnson ready to provide doses for 20M Americans by end of March MORE (R-Utah) and 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.) tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this month, shortly after President TrumpDonald TrumpNoem touts South Dakota coronavirus response, knocks lockdowns in CPAC speech On The Trail: Cuomo and Newsom — a story of two embattled governors McCarthy: 'I would bet my house' GOP takes back lower chamber in 2022 MORE announced he had contracted the virus. 

Two other Republican members Sens. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzNoem touts South Dakota coronavirus response, knocks lockdowns in CPAC speech Sunday shows preview: 2024 hopefuls gather at CPAC; House passes coronavirus relief; vaccine effort continues Texas attorney general hits links with Trump before CPAC appearance MORE (Texas) and Ben SasseBen SasseTrump at CPAC foments 2022 GOP primary wars Media circles wagons for conspiracy theorist Neera Tanden Republicans see Becerra as next target in confirmation wars MORE (Neb.) isolated themselves after contact with the other senators, but both said they expected to be back for Barrett’s hearings.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe bizarre back story of the filibuster The Bible's wisdom about addressing our political tribalism Democrats don't trust GOP on 1/6 commission: 'These people are dangerous' MORE also dismissed requests last week to delay the hearings. 

“That's the plan and there's nothing I can see that would keep that from happening,” he said in an interview on Fox News.

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerThe bizarre back story of the filibuster Hillicon Valley: Biden signs order on chips | Hearing on media misinformation | Facebook's deal with Australia | CIA nominee on SolarWinds House Rules release new text of COVID-19 relief bill MORE (D-N.Y.) said last week that Graham should mandate testing for senators or staff if the hearing continues as scheduled. 

Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisDwayne 'The Rock' Johnson vs. Donald Trump: A serious comparison Exclusive: How Obama went to bat for Warren To unite America, Biden administration must brace for hate MORE (D-Calif.), the Democratic vice presidential candidate announced through a spokesperson on Sunday that she will participate in the hearings virtually.