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2h ago / 2:39 PM UTC

How three GOP senators recovering from the coronavirus could potentially delay Barrett’s confirmation

With three Republican senators testing positive for Covid-19, the confirmation vote for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett could be delayed this month.

Sens. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Thom Tillis, R-N.C., two members of the Senate Judiciary Committee tasked with considering the nomination, announced Friday that they tested positive for the disease. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., who is not a member of that panel, has also tested positive, his spokesman said Saturday morning. 

None of the senators have indicated the severity of their cases. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that individuals isolate for at least 10 days after testing positive.

Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., plans to hold hearings for Barrett’s confirmation during the week of Oct.12.

Graham tweeted Friday night, “Any Senator who wants to participate virtually will be allowed to do so.” He added that he had spoken to Lee by phone and said, “He’s in good spirits and on the mend.”

Graham has also said he aims to hold the committee’s vote to advance Barrett’s nomination to the full Senate on Oct. 22. If both Lee and Tillis were unable to be present for the vote, either Republicans could postpone the vote or Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., could automatically advance the nomination to the floor.

In the full Senate, however, if Lee, Tillis and Johnson are unable to be present in Washington for the final confirmation vote, which requires a 51-vote majority, it could further delay the process.

The GOP has 53-47 majority in the Senate, so McConnell can only lose three votes. Sens. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Susan Collins, R-Maine, have already said they oppose voting before Election Day. If two of the three sick senators were unable to vote, it could delay confirmation until after the Nov. 3 election.

This content was originally published here.

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