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The U.S. Senate’s schedule was interrupted this month following the positive COVID-19 test results of three of its members.
Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky announced the chamber would resume its work schedule after Oct. 19. Hearings on a Supreme Court nominee are expected to begin a week earlier, while consideration of the next pandemic aid package is essentially sidelined in the upper chamber.
“The important work of the Senate’s committees can and will continue as each committee sees fit. The Senate Judiciary Committee will convene on Oct. 12 as Chairman [Lindsey] Graham has scheduled to begin confirmation hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court. The Senate’s floor schedule will not interrupt the thorough, fair and historically supported confirmation process previously laid out by Chairman Graham,” McConnell said Oct. 3.
Republican Sens. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Mike Lee of Utah announced they tested positive for COVID-19.
From left: Sens. Johnson, Tillis and Lee
Meanwhile, several transportation stakeholders continue to urge congressional leaders to advance economic recovery funds for freight and passenger corridors. The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, for instance, again called for $37 billion in emergency aid for state departments of transportation.
In a letter to House policymakers Oct. 5, AASHTO Executive Director Jim Tymon indicated, “Despite the enduring uncertainty and ever-evolving nature of this pandemic, the nation’s state DOTs are working tirelessly to ensure the health and safety of their residents, employees and the traveling public. But their valiant efforts alone will not be enough without this critical component of COVID-19 federal funding assistance.”
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