Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > Sen. Thom Tillis (R-North Carolina)
Posted: October 4, 2020

Sen. Thom Tillis (R-North Carolina) talks with with U.S. Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett as part of a meeting at his office at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on September 30, 2020. Photo: Sen. Thom Tillis

Sen. Thom Tillis (R-North Carolina) announced he tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, on October 2, 2020.

Following his positive diagnosis, Tillis said he would isolate for a period of 10 days. That’s shorter than the 14 days recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and health experts.

But unlike a fellow Republican who also contracted COVID-19, Tillis was not as forthcoming about the timing of his quarantine. He too serves on the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, which is scheduled to begin the confirmation hearing for Judge Amy Coney Barrett to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court on October 12.

“As we all know, COVID-19 is a very contagious and deadly virus, especially because many carriers are asymptomatic,” Tillis said in his announcement. “I encourage all North Carolinians to follow the recommendations of medical experts, including wearing a mask, washing hands, and practicing social distancing.”

In terms of membership, Republicans hold 12 seats on the legislative panel, while Democrats hold 10. Republicans will need every vote in order to overcome any Democratic opposition to Barrett’s nomination at the committee level.

Tillis met with Barrett, who currently serves as a judge on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, on September 30. One of the photos his office released showed them bumping elbows, instead of shaking hands, while another showed them standing far apart.

Tillis also took part in the September 26 ceremony at the White House where President Donald Trump announced the nomination. Besides himself and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), several other attendees have since tested positive for COVID-19. Trump himself is among those infected.

Tillis is a co-sponsor of S.1368, the Lumbee Recognition Act, which extends federal recognition to the Lumbee Tribe, based in North Carolina. The bill is making progress in the 116th Congress — just last week, H.R.1964 was advanced by a key committee in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Tillis is also co-sponsor of S.790, a bill to help the Catawba Nation with its land restoration efforts in neighboring South Carolina. Though the measure was gaining traction, passage was not needed because the Bureau of Indian Affairs finally agreed to acquire land into trust for the tribe in March 2020.

But new legislation has been introduced in the House [H.R. 8255] to ensure the land acquisition can’t be overturned in court. A Senate version has not yet been filed.


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