Senate Republicans have spent months refusing to act on Coronavirus-connected economic relief legislation that the Democrat-led House passed months ago, and all the while, Americans have been continuing to struggle through the Coronavirus pandemic and the connected economic crisis. Nevertheless, despite this lack of substantive relief action, Senate Republicans have rushed to kickstart the confirmation process for Trump Supreme Court pick Amy Coney Barrett, who is replacing the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who passed away recently. On Tuesday, during day two of the Barrett confirmation process, Senate Judiciary Committee member Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) condemned her Republican colleagues for their prioritization of confirming Trump’s Supreme Court pick over enacting Coronavirus relief.
In a substantive statement, Klobuchar insisted that the hearing needed a “reset,” and she subsequently walked through some of the scope of the nationwide crisis that Senate Republicans seem fine with at least temporarily glossing over.
‘We have to understand… what people are dealing with, that 7.7 million people have gotten this virus, that 214,000 Americans have died — and for people watching at home and wondering what we’re all doing in this room right now — and maybe you’re home because you lost your job or maybe you got your kids crawling all over your couch right now. Maybe you’re trying to teach your first grader how to do a mute button to go to school. Or maybe you’ve got a small business that you had to close down or that is struggling. We should be doing something else right now. We shouldn’t be doing this. We should be passing Coronavirus relief like the House just did, which was a significant bill that would have been a big help, and I think people have to know that right now.’
Check out her comments below:
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) blows up the sham SCOTUS confirmation hearing by reminding the Senate that they should be passing pandemic relief legislation instead of trying to rush through a Supreme Court nominee. pic.twitter.com/5iRSzR5M9c
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) October 13, 2020
Klobuchar was not the first Senator to bring up the GOP-led Senate’s lack of action on further Coronavirus relief, and she no doubt won’t be the last. Amidst a frenzy of public statements, President Donald Trump recently demanded a pause to negotiations over a potential comprehensive relief package — and then he appeared to backtrack, insisting that he actually wanted to see particular relief measures accomplished. His spectacle has not breathed noticeable life into the negotiations.
During the Barrett confirmation process, Senate Republicans have displayed other concerns. For example, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) took a moment to complain about his Democratic challenger Jaime Harrison’s fundraising success, suggesting that there could be some kind of nefarious anti-Graham conspiracy at work (there’s not). Meanwhile, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) went on an angry tirade insisting that Democrats are supposedly seeking to undermine the Bill of Rights. They are not. Republicans are resorting to fearmongering and complaints about Democratic efforts to bring attention back to the actual concerns of everyday Americans. Graham even specifically belittled Democratic concern about the future of the Affordable Care Act with Barrett on the U.S. Supreme Court. Barrett has previously expressed opposition to the landmark healthcare law.
During her confirmation hearings, Barrett declined to definitively answer on questions like whether she believes that Roe v. Wade should be overturned and whether she thinks that the law allows for presidents to delay elections of their own accord.
Watch Klobuchar’s full questioning of Barrett below: