Senate to hold all-night session ahead of Barrett confirmation vote
Senators are preparing to pull an all-nighter to debate Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination.
The decision to work through Sunday night comes after Republicans voted to start winding down debate on Barrett, paving the way for a final vote to confirm Barrett as late as 7:25 p.m. on Monday.
Asked if the Senate would stay through Sunday night, Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) replied, “Yes.”
“You don’t have to stay here, you know. It’s going to be really boring,” he added in a quip to reporters.
A Democratic aide confirmed that they expected the Senate to stay in session through Sunday night so senators could speak about Barrett’s nomination, though they cautioned there could be a brief lull early Monday morning to let Senate floor staff take a break.
The Senate is holding a rare weekend session as it burns the clock on Barrett’s nomination. Senators can still debate the nomination for another 30 hours after Republicans cleared a key hurdle earlier Sunday.
The Senate is not expected to vote again on Sunday, according to floor staff in both parties.
The decision by Democrats to skip forcing additional procedural votes that wouldn’t change the outcome of Barrett’s nomination but would force Republicans to stay in the Capitol comes after Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) urged his caucus to avoid lingering on the Senate floor in the wake of members of Vice President Pence’s staff and Senate GOP aides testing positive for COVID-19.
Schumer urged colleagues not to congregate on the Senate floor Sunday or Monday and to “cast your votes quickly and from a safe distance” following news that at least five people in Pence’s circle have tested positive for the virus, including the vice president’s chief of staff, Marc Short.
“The Vice President is maintaining his campaign schedule and, inexplicably, intends to preside over the Senate chamber tomorrow evening. Their carelessness with the health and safety of their colleagues and Capitol employees mirrors their carelessness with the health and safety of Americans during this crisis,” Schumer wrote in a “Dear Colleague” letter.