WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans are moving swiftly toward confirming Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett. The final vote on her nomination in the full Senate will likely take place within about a week of the election.
What You Need To Know
- Four years ago Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (R) said a Supreme Court justice should not be seated in an election year
- On current nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett, Rubio says the situation has changed
- Rubio says he supports the repeal of the Affordable Care Act
“There’s no way we are going to pass up the opportunity to confirm her for a vacancy,” said Sen. Marco Rubio (R) Florida in an interview with Spectrum News.
Preparations are full speed ahead to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court. No confirmation to the high court has ever occurred closely to an election.
Four years ago, Rubio was part of a Republican effort blocking President Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland from being considered for the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat.
“I don’t think we should be moving forward on a nominee in the last year of this president’s term, I would say that if this was a Republican president,” Rubio told reporters at the time.
“The argument then was why waste the time of the Senate and the country if the nomination is going nowhere,” Rubio said when asked about his previous statements in relation to his views currently.
"This is very different because you have a Republican president nominating the kind of jurist I want to see,” he added.
The installment of a third Supreme Court pick in just under four years is a chance for Republicans to seal conservative control of the high court for decades. However, there is a risk the move could cost the GOP their Senate Majority. Democrats are warning the GOP could face backlash from voters who accuse the party of hypocrisy over differing views four years ago.
“I think that people will make their decisions as they vote now, about whether we are better off than we were four years ago,” Rubio said in response.
"Also on whether or not they think Amy Coney Barrett is someone who should be on the court,” he said.
Barrett will likely be seated in time to consider a case challenging the Affordable Care Act, set for November 10. Rubio said he is supportive of the lawsuit.
“I want to see the law replaced but you can’t get it if you don’t get rid of it first,” Rubio said.
Republicans have had years to formulate a replacement for the Affordable Care Act, but there still is no plan. Those with preexisting conditions could be at risk of losing coverage since the law is the only safeguard in place.
“For most Americans preexisting conditions are protected under commercial plans, so we are really only talking about the non-commercial plans that have become an issue,” Rubio said.
Rubio disputes claims that Republicans do not have a plan to replacement the A.C.A.
“It’s not accurate to say we don’t have a plan, we came within one vote of passing one,” Rubio said, alluding to the 2017 vote in which the late Sen. John McCain voted against a plan to repeal parts of the Affordable Care Act. Since then, there has been no movement on an alternative.
Watch: Samantha-Jo Roth's full interview with Sen. Marco Rubio