Kamala Harris Has Harsh Words At Amy Coney Barrett's Confirmation Hearing

It's been more than six months since COVID-19 took over our lives. And in that time the country has seen more than 7.8 million reported cases — including President Donald Trump and several members of his White House team — and nearly 215,000 deaths (via The New York Times). USA Today also says that 13 states set records for the number of new coronavirus cases in a week, including Colorado, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin. 

It's little wonder then that Kamala Harris is seeing red over the GOP's decision to hold Senate confirmation meetings to rush Amy Coney Barrett's ascension to the Supreme Court, instead of attending to the immediate needs of the country. In her statement, the Democratic vice presidential contender said: "This hearing has brought together more than 50 people to sit inside of a closed door room for hours while our nation is facing a deadly airborne virus. The committee has ignored common sense requests to keep people safe, including not requiring testing for all members, despite a coronavirus outbreak among senators of this very committee" (via Instagram).

Harris to Senate: Your priorities are off

Kamala Harris is also questioning the Senate committee's priorities, saying "By contrast, in response to this recent Senate outbreak, the leaders of Senate Republicans rightly postponed business on Senate floor this week to protect the health and safety of senators and staff. Mr. Chairman, for the same reasons, this hearing should have been postponed. The decision to hold this hearing now is reckless and places facilities workers, janitorial staff, and congressional aides and Capitol police at risk, not to mention that while tens of millions of Americans are struggling to pay their bills, the Senate should be prioritizing coronavirus relief and providing financial support to those families. The American people need to have help to make rent or their mortgage payment. We should provide financial assistance to those who have lost their jobs and to help parents put food on the table. Small businesses need help, as do the cities, towns and hospitals that this crisis has pushed to the brink" (via Instagram).

In a series of tweets, President Donald Trump asked GOP senators to stop negotiating with the Democrats over a COVID-19 relief bill and told Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell "not to delay, but to instead focus full time on approving my outstanding nominee to the United States Supreme Court, Amy Coney Barrett. Our Economy is doing very well. The Stock Market is at record levels, JOBS and unemployment..."

Harris paid tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Harris wasn't alone when she delivered her message via video conference. As her niece Meena Harris pointed out via Twitter, sitting behind her was a children's book about the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Her niece captioned the post: "As one of her former law clerks just told me, RBG definitely would have approved of this trolling." Harris' supporters applauded the tribute, with one saying: "With one simple gesture, @Kamala pays tribute to a woman who paved the way for us all, expresses disagreement with her hypocritical colleagues, and tips her hat to the power of children's books. Powerful, efficient, effective..."

But not everyone felt the same way. Critics called out both Harris and her running mate, Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden, saying: "The #DNC and #Democrats really screwed up this election cycle. They have selected the two dumbest candidates for #POTUS @JoeBiden and #VP @KamalaHarris. They both proved it with their comments of appointment of #SCOTUS They need to study the #Constitution."

The Senate confirmation hearings are expected to take four days — Tuesday and Wednesday will see senators question Barrett, and on Thursday, outside witnesses will speak to chambers to explain their support of, and opposition to, Barrett's nomination (via NPR).