Members of Senate Democratic leadership asked Vice President Pence to stay away from Monday's confirmation vote for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett after five of Pence's aides were diagnosed with COVID-19.
Why it matters: Barrett's confirmation is not in doubt because Republicans have the votes to confirm her, so Pence's presence would be mostly symbolic — though he would cast a tie-breaking vote if necessary.
- Pence has continued his campaign travel despite his possible exposure to the virus, which goes against CDC guidelines.
- Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said Sunday that Pence was putting others at risk by traveling.
What they're saying: "Not only would your presence in the Senate chamber tomorrow be a clear violation of [CDC] guidelines, it would also be a violation of common decency and courtesy."
- "Your presence alone could be very dangerous to many people — not just senators, but to all the truly essential staff — both Democratic and Republican — who must be physically present inside the U.S. Capitol for it to function."
- "Nothing about your presence in the Senate tomorrow can be considered essential. You will not need to cast the deciding vote to break a tie. Your presence tomorrow would be purely ceremonial."
The other side: "As vice president, I'm president of the Senate. And I'm going to be in the chair, because I wouldn't miss that vote for the world," Pence said on Saturday.
- Aides to Pence said the vice president and his wife both tested negative on Sunday.
- White House chief of staff Mark Meadows conceded to reporters that Pence's attendance was "in flux" on Monday morning.