U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) today joined Fox News’s “Cavuto LIVE” to discuss his strong support for Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett ahead of her upcoming confirmation vote in the Senate. Thune also discussed the importance of passing a targeted COVID-19 relief bill, like the one the Senate voted on earlier this week. He urged Democrats to work with Republicans in good faith to arrive at a compromise bill that both parties can support and that can actually make it to the president’s desk.
Thune also spoke on the Senate floor today about Democrats’ continued delay tactics on the Barrett nomination and urged his Democrat colleagues to ditch their all-or-nothing approach to COVID-19 relief.
On Democrats protesting Judge Barrett’s confirmation vote:
“Unfortunately, the Democrats have really politicized the court by their tactics – not showing up at the Judiciary Committee where her nomination was reported out, not showing up yesterday on the floor when it was called up. They’re doing everything they can to protest this. But the truth of the matter is that a lot of the Democrats look at the courts as an auxiliary legislature where they can try and get policy outcomes and results that they can’t get through the two political branches of our government. And that’s not what the court is about. And Judge Barrett represents what we believe the court should be about – and that is a constitutionalist and somebody who is going to, in an impartial way, apply the law and the Constitution.”
“In the last 30 years, the Democrats have consistently changed the rules, going back to the Bork nomination, all the judges they tried to block when George Bush was president of the United States. That’s kind of permanently changed the atmospherics around here when it comes to processing judicial nominations. But that can’t stop us from carrying out our constitutional responsibility of advice and consent here in the Senate, and we’re going to carry that out today, tomorrow, and on Monday.”
On Judge Barrett’s qualifications:
“Everybody that meets her, Neil, including her opponents, the Democrats, can’t help but walk away impressed with her qualifications. There is no question about that. The Democrats are obviously very dug in on this over what they feel are process issues, and obviously ideology issues, but she has demonstrated that she is not somebody who is going to bring an ideology to the bench. She’s somebody who is going to take the law, the Constitution, the facts, and as they are written, and apply them in an impartial way. And that’s exactly what we want to see in a justice on the Supreme Court.”
On COVID-19 relief negotiations:
“[M]y view on that, Neil, is it’s not a question of if, it’s a question of when. We know we have to deal with it. We just think it ought to be targeted, it ought to be fiscally responsible. It shouldn’t be this all-or-nothing approach that Nancy Pelosi is proposing – which is you do it ‘my way or the highway,’ and it’s way too much money, it’s spending money on things that are unrelated to the coronavirus. We believe we need to do more to help businesses out there, and we’ve actually voted in the Senate now several times on legislation that would do just that – that would provide unemployment insurance, help for businesses, help for schools that are continuing to open up safely, supporting resources for vaccines and therapeutics and testing, money for the post office, money for farmers.
“I mean we’ve moved a bill on the floor now twice in the Senate, but the Democrats have blocked it. So, in the end, when the smoke clears after the election, hopefully we can sit down and people can, in good faith, start to compromise. But right now, my impression is that House Democrats and Speaker Pelosi would much rather have the issue than the solution, and we want a solution.”