Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) took aim at Senate Republicans for holding Supreme Court nomination hearings in the midst of a coronavirus outbreak.
The California Democrat and vice presidential nominee ripped Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) for scheduling the hearing for Amy Coney Barrett after multiple individuals tested positive after attending her White House announcement ceremony.
"This hearing has brought together more than 50 people to sit inside of a closed-door room for hours while our nation is facing a deadly airborne virus," Harris said. "This committee has ignored common sense requests to keep people safe including not requiring testing for all members, despite a coronavirus outbreak among senators of this very committee. By contrast, in response to this recent Senate outbreak, the leaders of Senate Republicans, rightly, postponed business on the Senate floor this week to protect the health and safety of senators and staff."
"Mr. Chairman, for the same reasons this hearing should have been postponed," she continued. "The decision to hold this hearing now is reckless and places facilities' workers, janitorial staff, congressional aides and Capitol Police at risk, not to mention while tens of millions of Americans are struggling to pay their bills, the Senate should be prioritizing coronavirus relief and providing financial support to those families. The American people need to have help, to make rent or their mortgage payment."
"We should provide financial assistance to those who have lost their job and help parents put food on the table," Harris added. "Small businesses need help, as do the cities, towns and hospitals that this crisis has pushed to the brink. A House bill would help families of small businesses get through this crisis, but Senate Republicans have not lifted a finger for 150 days, which is how long that bill has been here in the Senate to move the bill. Yet this committee is determined to rush a Supreme Court confirmation hearing through in just 16 days. Senate Republicans have made it crystal clear that rushing a supreme court nomination is more important than helping and supporting the American people who are suffering from a deadly pandemic and a devastating economic crisis. Their priorities are not the American people's priorities, but for the moment, Senate Republicans hold the majority in the Senate and determine the schedule, so here we are."