Political News

Pelosi says she will not leverage government shutdown to avoid Senate vote on court seat

Posted September 20, 2020 11:00 a.m. EDT

— House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday said she would not leverage a government shut down in order to slow down Republicans' push to fill the Supreme Court vacancy following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

"None of us has any interest in shutting down government, that has such a harmful and shameful impact on so many people in our country," Pelosi told ABC's George Stephanopoulos on "This Week."

Asked if there was any way the Democrats could slow down Senate Republicans, Pelosi said Sunday, "Everyone to get out there and vote." And pressed again on what Democrats may do, the House speaker said: "We have our options. We have arrows in our quiver that I'm not about to discuss right now."

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and President Donald Trump, less than 24 hours following the 87-year-old justice's death, were engaged in a pressure campaign to hold the Republican conference together and push a nominee through the Senate Judiciary Committee and to a full Senate vote before the end of the year.

Democrats, meanwhile, began discussing their options Saturday, with senators all vowing a furious fight to keep the seat vacant until next year when a new Senate convenes and when Joe Biden may occupy the White House. While no specific course of action was detailed, Democrats said they planned to engage in an all-out battle to stop the nomination in its tracks by pressuring four Republicans to break ranks.

On Sunday, Pelosi said Trump is pushing to fill Ginsburg's seat so quickly because Supreme Court oral arguments on the Affordable Care Act begin on November 10.

"The President thinks this isn't about coronavirus, it is. The President is rushing to make some kind of a decision because he, November 10 is when the oral arguments begin on the Affordable Care Act. He doesn't want to crush the virus. He wants to crush the Affordable Care Act," she said.

Several Democrats have called for an expansion of the Supreme Court if a nominee is pushed through before the next President and the Democrats receive a majority in the Senate. Pelosi, though, did not comment directly on the suggestion, saying, "Our main goal and I think Ruth Bader Ginsburg would want that to be to protect the integrity of the election."

"Let's just win this election," she said. "Let's hope that the President will see the light."

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