WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — After almost a full week of meetings between Judge Amy Coney Barrett and Republican senators, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday that getting a Supreme Court justice confirmed before the election isn’t a done deal.
“Well I haven’t said exactly when we will move with the nominee on the floor,” McConnell (R-KY) told Washington correspondent Kellie Meyer.
When asked about the majority of Americans opposing a confirmation before November’s election, McConnell said that was before they knew who President Donald Trump’s nominee was.
“Now they have a chance to talk about a real flesh-and-blood person,” he said.
McConnell said public support for Barrett will help vulnerable Republican candidates win.
“I think it will be very positive for those that are supporting this outstanding nominee,” he said.
Senate Democrats said Republican leadership is rushing the confirmation process because they want a justice in place before the Affordable Care Act comes up in the Supreme Court the week after the election.
When asked about President Trump’s mention of wanting a justice who wants to overturn the ACA, McConnell said, “he may think that but he’s not the Supreme Court.”
Democrats fear the court could end coverage for pre-existing conditions.
“I think it’s extremely unlikely that the Supreme Court will even deal with that part of the Obamacare law,” McConnell added.
“That’s not what legal experts – both Democrat and Republican – believe,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said Thursday in response to McConnell’s statement.
Schumer said McConnell is just trying to create a diversion.
“McConnell is squirming,” he said.
But the Senate majority leader said he’s confident in Judge Barrett and her qualifications.
“She’s an exemplary person,” McConnell said. “The president could not have picked a better nominee for this vacancy.”