Tom Cotton: SCOTUS Vote Will Happen, Even If COVID-Stricken GOP Senators Have to Be 'Wheeled In'

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Posted: Oct 04, 2020 2:40 PM
Tom Cotton: SCOTUS Vote Will Happen, Even If COVID-Stricken GOP Senators Have to Be 'Wheeled In'

Source: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool

Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton on Sunday told Fox News' Maria Bartiromo that the three positive coronavirus cases in the Senate will not prevent Judge Amy Coney Barrett from being confirmed to the United States Senate.

“Your colleagues have tested positive. It looks like it was that Amy Coney Barrett gathering at the White House to introduce her to lawmakers. That really was the place where so many people were exposed.”

Cotton said he's been in contact with his colleagues who have tested positive or are in quarantine and, to the best of his knowledge, everyone is either asymptomatic or has mild symptoms. No one has required hospitalization. 

"What I can say is everyone is eager to be at work when they need to be at work. If they're on the Judiciary [Committee], a week from tomorrow, whether in-person or virtually, to have the confirmation hearing for Judge Barrett and then have the vote on Judge Barrett this month," Cotton explained. 

According to the senator, the three positive cases in the Senate shouldn't have any kind of impact on Barrett's confirmation process. 

"Tell me about the proceedings. You say you are confident that you will be able to, in fact, have the nomination hearings for Judge Barrett. You think this will not impact the schedule or the agenda, sir?" Bartiromo asked.

“No doubt about it, Maria. Several of the senators who are in isolation right now would come out of isolation before those hearings begin. But the Senate Judiciary Committee has also conducted 20 hearings this year, that have either been in part or in whole virtual. Many Senate Democrats say couldn’t possibly do a virtual hearing or demanding throughout this year going back to March that all committees be conducted over Zoom or Webex or some other virtual hearing," he replied. "So the hearing is going forward, no doubt in my mind starting a week from tomorrow, Maria and then on the Senate floor later this month."

"First off, I think every senator who currently tested positive or is in isolation will be back to work under normal conditions, as other senators have been as well, like Rand Paul or Tim Kane. But if that’s not the case, Maria, there is a long and venerable tradition of ill or medically infirmed senators being wheeled in to cast critical votes on the Senate floor," Cotton said. “So I’m confident that every senator will be in attendance when his or her vote is needed.”

Cotton pointed to the late Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV), who was repeatedly rolled in to Senate votes, especially related to Obamacare, as an example of what was done in the past.