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Pence won't preside over Barrett's final confirmation vote

Vice President Pence will not preside over Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney BarrettAmy Coney BarrettOvernight Health Care: Takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision | COVID-19 cost 5.5 million years of American life | Biden administration investing billions in antiviral pills for COVID-19 Five takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision Supreme Court unanimously sides with Catholic adoption agency that turned away same-sex couples MORE’s final confirmation vote after five members of his circle tested positive for COVID-19.

Senate Republican Whip John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneOn The Money: Democrats make full-court press on expanded child tax credit | White House confident Congress will raise debt ceiling Psaki: Biden 'believes' Congress will lift debt limit despite spending battle Congress barrels toward debt cliff MORE (R-S.D.) said “that’s my understanding” when asked about reports that Pence will not preside over the final confirmation vote for Barrett, which he was just a few days ago expected to do.

A senior Senate Republican aide said the White House has indicated that Pence will not be in the chamber when Barrett is confirmed.

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Fifty-two Senate Republicans are expected to vote for Barrett, which means the vice president won’t be needed to break a 50-50 tie. 

Senators are scheduled to hold a roll-call vote on Barrett at approximately 7:30 p.m. Monday. 

At least five people close to Pence, including his chief of staff, Marc Short, have tested positive for the virus in recent days. 

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerHeatwaves don't lie: Telling the truth about climate change Schumer backing plan to add dental, vision and hearing coverage to Medicare Centrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting MORE (N.Y.) and other Democratic leaders earlier asked Pence to reconsider his plan to be in the chamber for the historic vote, which they argued would put senators at risk.

“With five of your closest aides recently testing positive for COVID-19, it is not a risk worth taking. We ask you to reconsider,” they wrote in a letter to the vice president dated Oct. 25.

“Not only would your presence in the Senate Chamber tomorrow be a clear violation of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, it would also be a violation of common decency and courtesy,” they wrote.