Per tradition, Vice President Mike Pence is expected to preside over Monday night’s Senate vote to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.
“We’re still moving full speed ahead,” White House Director of Strategic Communications Alyssa Farah said on Fox Business. “The president’s on the trail, the Vice President is also, as you said, presiding over this historic confirmation hearing today.”
But Democrats fear that Pence’s presence will put them and all the Capitol staff at risk. While Pence has tested negative for COVID-19 several times, including just this morning, a few of his closest aides recently tested positive, such as his Chief of Staff, Marc Short.
“It sets a terrible, terrible example for the American public,” Schumer says of Pence coming to the Senate tomorrow and presiding over the chamber for confirmation vote after being exposed to aides with covid. Says Pence is going to put people who work at the Capitol at risk
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) October 25, 2020
Schumer and other leading Senate Democrats put their concerns in writing, asking Pence to “reconsider” his visit to the Senate tonight.
“Not only would your presence in the Senate Chamber (Monday) be a clear violation of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, it would also be a violation of common decency and courtesy,” they write. “Your presence alone could be very dangerous to many people – not just Senators, but to all the truly essential staff – both Democratic and Republican – who must be physically present inside the U.S. Capitol for it to function.”
On her Twitter page, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) notes that five of Pence’s closest aides have tested positive for COVID-19 and that instead of walking around Capitol Hill, he should be in quarantine.
Pence recently told a campaign crowd that nothing will stop him from overseeing the historic vote.
“As vice president, I’m president of the Senate,” @VP said at his rally in Tallahassee Saturday. “And I’m going to be in the chair because I wouldn’t miss that vote for the world.”
— Maureen Groppe (@mgroppe) October 25, 2020
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