Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Saturday that he will seek permission for the Senate to remain out for two weeks instead of resuming work Monday, but hearings on Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett will continue as scheduled.
“On Monday, I intend to obtain a consent agreement for the Senate to meet in pro forma sessions for the next two weeks. Previously-scheduled floor activity will be rescheduled until after October 19th,” the Kentucky Republican said in a statement.
McConnell said Friday in Kentucky he expected senators to come back to Washington Oct. 5, despite uncertainty surrounding their exposure to COVID-19 in the wake of the positive diagnoses of President Donald Trump and Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee. Since then, two more GOP senators, North Carolina’s Thom Tillis and Wisconsin’s Ron Johnson, revealed positive tests for the virus.
Johnson had been quarantining after an earlier interaction with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 and had returned to Washington on Tuesday. After learning of a new exposure this week, Johnson was tested again Friday. The result of that test came back positive, Johnson spokesman Ben Voelkel said Saturday.
Oklahoma GOP Sen. James Lankford, who said he was in contact with Lee, announced Saturday he would following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and “will continue to quarantine,” despite a negative test.