NC senator recovering from coronavirus prepares for SCOTUS confirmation hearing


WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Just a week after testing positive for coronavirus, North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis is getting ready to return to Capitol Hill.

“I’m following the advice, the CDC guidelines are what my health system here in Mecklenburg County are following,” the Republican senator said Friday.

Tillis is eager to return to the U.S. Senate for Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearings starting on Monday.

“My last symptoms, and the only symptoms I had for a few hours, were on Saturday. So that should provide me with the opportunity to be cleared on Monday evening or Tuesday,” he added.

Tillis isn’t the only member of the judiciary committee to contract the coronavirus. Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah got it too.

Other Republican members are turning down testing.

“If (Sen. Lindsey) Graham and any of these other senators feel like (if) they test positive it might delay the rush to get this nominee confirmed, and that’s actually a disturbing perversion of our Democratic system,” Jesse Lee with the Center for American Progress Action Fund said Friday.

He said Republicans want another conservative justice on the bench when the Affordable Care Act goes before the Supreme Court – and for potential election lawsuits.

“Republican senators are trying to explain how maybe, technically, medically, they might be fine to hold this hearing but there is no reason to be rushing it this way,” Lee added.

But Tillis defended the process, saying it’s faster because senators already know Barrett.

“We went through an extensive nomination hearing just a few years ago,” he added.

Next week’s hearings mean the full Senate could vote on Barrett by the final week of October.

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