Politics

McConnell Pressing For Confirmation Before Election, But Says Would Confirm In Lame Duck If GOP Loses Senate

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell expressed his intention to hold a vote to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court before the election, but told Fox News anchor Bret Baier that a lame duck Senate could also vote to confirm.

Baier noted during the Thursday night “Special Report” interview that President Donald Trump’s pick to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was scheduled to come out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Oct. 22, then asked McConnell if the vote would happen before election day.

“Yeah, I haven’t decided when the vote would occur on the floor, but we do anticipate Judge Barrett coming out of committee on October 22,” McConnell responded. “I think that’s a pretty likely outcome and then we will decide when to go forward.”

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Asked if that would be enough time, McConnell said: “Well there is plenty of debate going on in committee. It started today even without the nominee there. The American people I think really need an opportunity to get to meet and know Judge Barrett and that’ll happen during the Judiciary Committee hearings.”

“We were calling each other hypocrites before — what we need to see is the nominee — and we will have an opportunity to do that over the next few weeks,” he continued before praising Barrett’s qualifications and demeanor.

Baier then asked McConnell what would happen if they can’t get the vote before election day and the GOP loses the Senate. (RELATED: Nearly Two Dozen Republican AGs Urge ‘Prompt’ Confirmation Of Amy Coney Barrett To Supreme Court)

“Well, this Republican Senate was elected for a term that ends in January of next year,” said McConnell. “The president was elected for a four year term that ends January 20th of next year. There are no reduced Constitutional prerogatives during either of our tenures.”

McConnell noted how two years ago the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh dominated the news during an election cycle.