In an email to GOP senators obtained by CNN, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell detailed the changes in the Senate schedule and made it clear he needs all Republican senators back by Oct. 19.
“The Senate will go into pro forma session until October 19th. On that day, we will need all Republican Senators back and healthy to ensure we have a quorum,” he said.
It’s another sign that he has little margin for error to get Judge Amy Coney Barrett confirmed by the election.
However, if Sens. Thom Tillis and Mike Lee – the two GOP senators on the Senate Judiciary who tested positive for Covid-19 – are unable to return, Democrats will be able to deny them a quorum during the vote on Barrett’s nomination.
Read the full text of his email below:
“Colleagues – our thoughts and best wishes are with the President, the First Lady and Mike, Thom and Ron. I have discussed our situation with Chuck and believe the followIng course of action is prudent. The Senate will go into pro forma session until October 19th. On that day, we will need all Republican Senators back and healthy to ensure we have a quorum.
Lindsey and his committee will be able to conduct the confirmation hearings of Judge Barrett as planned, beginning on October 12th. Should we need to break into a pro forma to conduct covid or other related business requiring votes, you will be given at least 24 hours notice to return.
I had a good conversation with the President yesterday and he is in good spirits. I am mindful, though, that these times are unsettling in the life of our country. We need to lead now, with extra prudence and care, not just for our own health and well being, but to be able to perform our elected duties and to be examples to the country. Wear masks, stay distant, and come back safely on the 19th.