Vice President Mike Pence is not expected to preside over the Senate’s confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett Monday night unless his vote is somehow necessary to approve her.
Unless multiple Republican senators are absent, a highly unlikely scenario, Barrett has the votes to be confirmed without Pence breaking a tie. Fifty-two GOP senators are expected to support Barrett’s final confirmation.
“Vice President Pence is campaigning in Minnesota today. The VP is not planning to be at the Senate tonight unless his vote is needed,” an aide to Pence said.
Some of Pence’s aides have tested positive for the coronavirus recently but Pence has been cleared by doctors to travel as essential personnel.
Even if Pence’s vote was needed, however, he’d be back in Washington in time for the vote, which is expected to occur around 7 p.m.
Vice presidents do occasionally attend big Senate votes even if a tie break is not needed.
Still, Republican leaders were deferential to Pence at this moment. Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) said “as long as they take all the appropriate precautions, that’s going to be their call to make, but we got the votes either way.”
Marianne LeVine contributed to this report.