Sen. Kamala Harris said the Supreme Court confirmation hearing of Judge Amy Coney Barrett should have been postponed because of coronavirus concerns, saying the committee has not taken enough precautions to keep people safe.
"This hearing has brought together more than 50 people to sit inside of a closed door room for hours while our nation is facing a deadly airborne virus. This committee has ignored common sense requests to keep people safe – including not requiring testing for all members – despite a coronavirus outbreak among senators of this very committee," Harris said during her opening statement, speaking remotely from her Senate office.
She said not postponing the confirmation hearing puts people at risk and pauses talks about additional coronavirus relief funding.
“This hearing should have been postponed,” Harris said. “The decision to hold this hearing now is reckless and places facilities workers, janitorial staff and congressional aides and Capitol Police at risk. Not to mention while tens of millions of Americans are struggling to pay their bills, the Senate should be prioritizing coronavirus relief and providing financial support to those families," she said.
Harris said continuing with the hearing shows that "Republicans have made it crystal clear that rushing a Supreme Court nomination is more important than helping and supporting the American people who are suffering from a deadly pandemic and economic crisis."
"Their priorities are not the American people's priorities," she added.