WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell downplayed Democratic attempts to stall the confirmation hearing of President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court pick, Judge Brett Kavanaugh.
“It’s noteworthy that, I think, after all of the time that’s expired between the nomination and the moment we’re in now, none of the votes seem have to changed,” McConnell (R-Ky.) said at a news conference on Wednesday.
McConnell added: “We’ll move through the committee process this week.”
Earlier in the afternoon Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer invoked Senate Rule XXVI. The rule states that committees may not meet for than two hours after floor activity has commenced unless both the majority and minority leaders concur.
“Republicans are trying to jam through, with as little scrutiny as possible, a lifetime appointment to the nation’s highest court with the power to affect the lives of Americans for a generation,” Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in a floor speech.
Since the Senate convened at noon EDT the Kavanaugh hearing would have ended at 2 p.m. EDT. Dual consent is not required if the Senate is not in session; therefore McConnell declared the Senate in recess until noon Thursday so the hearing could proceed.
The request for adjournment comes on the second day of Kavanaugh’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Democrats sought to adjourn Tuesday’s hearing pending the review of 42,000 pages of documents the committee received the previous evening.
Kavanaugh, 53, sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. He served as associate White House counsel from 2001-03 and served as White House staff secretary from 2003-06.
The National Archives has furnished documents related to Kavanaugh’s tenure in the White House Counsel’s Office to the Senate Judiciary Committee under the condition the documents are not shared outside the committee. That condition was imposed by lawyers for former President George W. Bush.
The National Archives has not agreed to furnish documents related to Kavanaugh’s tenure as staff secretary.
Democrats have argued the denial of access suggests Republicans are trying to conceal Kavanaugh’s past.