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 GrahamRep. Tim Ryan becomes latest COVID-19 breakthrough case in Congress Graham found Trump election fraud arguments suitable for 'third grade': Woodward book Senate parliamentarian nixes Democrats' immigration plan MORE (R-S.C.) on Sunday dismissed calls from fellow senators to delay Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney BarrettAmy Coney BarrettAre COVID-19 vaccine mandates a strategy to end the pandemic? New Hampshire state representative leaves GOP over opposition to vaccine mandate Barrett: Supreme Court 'not comprised of a bunch of partisan hacks' MORE’s confirmation hearings, saying the lawmakers will “go to work safely” on Monday.

Fox News’ Maria BartiromoMaria Sara BartiromoThe Memo: Fall in white population could add fuel to nativist fire A tale of two chambers: Trump's power holds in House, wanes in Senate The Memo: Biden beats Trump again — this time in the Senate 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 LeeGraham found Trump election fraud arguments suitable for 'third grade': Woodward book Economy adds just 235K jobs in August as delta hammers growth Lawmakers flooded with calls for help on Afghanistan exit MORE (R-Utah) and Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisGOP senators unveil bill designating Taliban as terrorist organization Without major changes, more Americans could be victims of online crime How to fix the semiconductor chip shortage (it's more than manufacturing) MORE (R-N.C.) tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this month, shortly after President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump takes shot at new GOP candidate in Ohio over Cleveland nickname GOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 On The Money — Dems dare GOP to vote for shutdown, default MORE announced he had contracted the virus. 

Two other Republican members Sens. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzPoll: Trump dominates 2024 Republican primary field Republican politicians: Let OSHA do its job O'Rourke prepping run for governor in Texas: report MORE (Texas) and Ben SasseBen SassePresident of newly recognized union for adult performers boosts membership Romney blasts Biden over those left in Afghanistan: 'Bring them home' Progressives breathe sigh of relief after Afghan withdrawal 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 McConnellGOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 McConnell privately urged GOP senators to oppose debt ceiling hike On The Money — Dems dare GOP to vote for shutdown, default 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 SchumerMcConnell signals Senate GOP will oppose combined debt ceiling-funding bill Centrist state lawmaker enters Ohio GOP Senate primary Biden discusses agenda with Schumer, Pelosi ahead of pivotal week 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 HarrisCIA chief team member reported Havana syndrome symptoms during trip to India: report Harris booked for first in-studio talk show appearance as VP on 'The View' Republicans caught in California's recall trap MORE (D-Calif.), the Democratic vice presidential candidate announced through a spokesperson on Sunday that she will participate in the hearings virtually.