Senate Democrats and some Republicans expressed unease at the possibility that Vice President Mike Pence, several of whose close aides have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, might attend Monday’s vote.
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said Pence “reportedly intends to come” to the Senate chamber to preside over the final vote, and blasted the vice president for being willing to put “the health of everyone who works in this building at risk.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends people quarantine for 14 days if they have been in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19.
Meadows said he was not sure about Pence’s plans. White House senior aide and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner told Fox News that Pence “knows the right protocols to follow, and I have every confidence that he’s following those protocols.”
Barrett, if confirmed, is expected to participate in arguments on Nov. 10 in a case in which Trump and Republican-led states are seeking to invalidate the Affordable Care Act. The 2010 healthcare law, also known as Obamacare, has helped millions of Americans obtain medical insurance and barred private insurers from denying medical coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.
Barrett has criticized previous rulings upholding Obamacare but said during her confirmation hearing she had no agenda to invalidate the measure.
During her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee two weeks ago, Barrett, a favorite of Christian conservatives, sidestepped questions on abortion, presidential powers, climate change, voting rights, Obamacare and other issues.
“It is my belief that Judge Barrett represents a threat to the very rights – including reproductive rights, rights of LGBT individuals, and voting rights – that Justice Ginsburg worked so hard to protect,” Senate Judiciary Committee senior Democrat Dianne Feinstein said on the Senate Floor on Sunday.
Barrett has been a federal appeals court judge since 2017 and was previously a legal scholar at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana.
(Additional reporting by Sarah N. Lynch and Susan Heavey; Editing by Scott Malone, Will Dunham and Howard Goller)