Doug Jones Missing Final Senate Votes After Wife Contracts COVID-19, Urges NDAA Veto Override

U.S. Senator Doug Jones, the Alabama Democrat who stunningly won a seat in the conservative state three years ago, will miss the final votes of his short term because his wife has tested positive for COVID-19.

In a video posted to Twitter, Jones, who lost his re-election bid this fall to former football coach Tommy Tuberville, announced that he's quarantining and taking care of his wife, Louise.

"She's not feeling too good but is ok, as am I with a negative test," Jones tweeted with the video message.

Republican Tuberville will be sworn in to replace Jones with the new term that starts Sunday.

"It's been an amazing time for me, my family. Ya'll take care. We'll see ya in the next chapter," Jones says in the video.

Jones, 66, is thought to be on President-elect Joe Biden's shortlist for attorney general—one of the few prominent Cabinet picks Biden has yet to name.

Jones, a former Clinton-appointed U.S. attorney, is known for having successfully prosecuted members of the Ku Klux Klan for a church bombing that killed four young girls in 1963.

Incoming White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Wednesday that Biden won't name an attorney general until after the first of the year. Biden has previously said he was still mulling his options.

"He is very thoughtful about how he makes decisions about who he will name to the cabinet," Psaki said. "He wants to make decisions about the remaining members of his cabinet in a thoughtful way, as he has with the ones prior."

Jones, who has been a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee for the past year, worked on the National Defense Authorization Act that President Donald Trump vetoed last week. The Senate's override attempt is one of the votes he will miss by leaving office early.

"Please, please vote to override that veto," Jones pleads in his video message to his colleagues. "It is so important for the security of this country, for our armed services, for the men and women in uniform, for the people of Alabama that we've worked so hard for.

"I'm disappointed that I was not there to help override this, but so glad i was there to help work on it and get it across the finish line," he adds.

The House successfully voted to override Trump's veto earlier this week. The Senate is expected to as well, but the upper chamber hasn't yet acted as lawmakers bicker over an unrelated COVID-19 stimulus bill.

"The Senate will stay on this important bill until we complete it one way or another," Senate Majority Leaders Mitch McConnell, of Kentucky, told the chamber on Wednesday.

Doug JOnes
Democratic Senator Doug Jones of Alabama asks a question at a hearing of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on September 23. In a video posted to Twitter, Jones announced that he's quarantining and taking care of his wife, Louise. Alex Edelman-Pool/Getty