In a cautionary Sunday tweet, Harris said that the Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Senate Republicans are “endangering the lives of not just members and our staff, but the hardworking people who keep the Senate complex running,” particularly after two members of the committee tested positive for the Chinese coronavirus:
Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), who attended the hearing in person, said he received clearance from the Office of the Attending Physician, and Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC), participated from a remote location.
Hours later, Harris warned that Senate Republicans are “fast tracking a Supreme Court confirmation” and repeated the party line on the future of Obamacare.
“Because in November, the Supreme Court is hearing a case that could overturn the Affordable Care Act [ACA]. They’ve been trying to dismantle the ACA for years, and confirming this nominee will help ensure that,” Harris said.
“For the millions who rely on the ACA for health care, everything is on the line with the Supreme Court confirmation hearings this week,” she continued.
“Protections for preexisting conditions. Your ability to stay on your parent’s health insurance until 26 years old. Stand up and speak out,” she urged:
On Monday morning, as the hearing began, Harris suggested that GOP lawmakers were effectively choosing to ignore those who seek coronavirus relief by holding confirmation hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett instead.
“To everyone who is barely hanging onto their homes, who has lost a loved one to COVID-19, who has no way to pay the bills,” she began, adding, “Know that instead of voting to provide relief you desperately need, Senate Republicans today are choosing to hold a hearing to confirm a judge”:
Over the weekend, Harris’s spokesman
said that the senator planned to attend the hearings remotely.
Harris spokesman Chris Harris said in a statement:
Due to Judiciary Committee Republicans’ refusal to take commonsense steps to protect members, aides, Capitol complex workers, and members of the media, Senator Harris plans to participate in this week’s hearings remotely from her Senate office in the Hart building.
Several key Democrats, including Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), 87, and Democratic Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), 75, attended Monday’s hearing in person.