In a rare Sunday session, the U.S. Senate voted 51-48 to shut off debate and force final action on the nomination of federal appeals court judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court, putting President Donald Trump on the verge of a major victory just over a week out from the November elections.
The vote was straight along party lines, as Republicans praised Barrett’s qualifications for the High Court, while Democrats continued to denounce the proceedings.
“We’ve got here a unique qualified person,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who showered Barrett in praise during a Sunday floor speech. “No one can help being impressed.”
“The Senate is doing the right thing,” McConnell said with the sound of satisfaction in his voice.
“One step closer,” tweeted Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV). “Looking forward to confirming Judge Barrett tomorrow.”
On the other side, Democrats were furious, again pointing back four years ago when Republicans refused to consider the Supreme Court nomination of appeals court judge Merrick Garland.
“Don’t ever forget what’s happening here,” said Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer. “It’s a travesty.”
“If only they had the same motivation to provide much-needed COVID relief to the millions of Americans facing unimaginable financial strain,” said Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE).
Schumer also criticized the White House and Senate Republicans for planning to have Vice President Pence preside over the Monday vote on the Barrett nomination, even as a series of Pence aides have tested positive for the Coronavirus.
Schumer has advised fellow Democrats to vote quickly on Monday, and immediately leave the Senate Chamber.