Sen. Tim Kaine discusses what’s at stake in Affordable Care Act hearing

Published: Oct. 21, 2020 at 5:55 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — Virginia Senator Tim Kaine said a vote on Supreme Court justice nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett will likely take place next week.

In a press conference, Kaine said he will not be supporting what he calls an “illegitimate process.”

After Justice Antonin Scalia passed, President Obama had nominated Judge Merrick Garland to fill his seat.

Kaine says rather than vote on the nominee, Republicans chose to make a new rule where, in a presidential election year, the vacancy would be filled after the American people voted for who they wanted as president.

Now with the rush to confirm Judge Barrett, Kaine said they have broken their word.

“I pressed the Republicans, just honor their word. They promised us, their colleagues, they promised the American public. It’s all on tape. We saw what you said, we saw the rationale you used. Just follow your word. That’s the measure of someone’s character and morality,” Kaine said.

Wednesday afternoon, Kaine took to the Senate floor as the Supreme Court prepared to hear a case on the Affordable Care Act.

Kaine said Republicans are rushing the confirmation of Judge Barrett to have a conservative majority and ultimately eliminate the affordable care act.

“Would there ever be a good time to take health insurance away from people? No. What is the worst time to do it? The worst time to do it is in a global health pandemic where people are already stressed out to the very edge worrying about their health and worrying about their economy,” Kaine said.

Rather than rushing the nomination, Kaine believes legislators should be focusing on how to provide pandemic relief for struggling Americans, but he said that likely will not come until after the election.

He added that there is nothing the Supreme Court or Congress can do that cannot be “fixed,” but he said the only way to do that is for people to vote.

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