Senators will begin debating to advance Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh to the final vote at 10:30am Eastern, as key lawmakers still remain undecided.
Republicans and Democrats reviewed an FBI report on sexual misconduct allegations against President Donald Trump’s nominee on Thursday. Friday morning, they vote on whether to end the Democrats filibuster and advance Kavanaugh on Saturday to the final vote.
Along with Democrats, some Republicans are still undecided on how they will vote. If all Democrats vote against Kavanaugh, Republicans can only afford to lose one vote. In a stunning announcement on Friday morning, Senator Susan Collins said she will vote to advance Kavanaugh’s nomination.
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The only undecided senators left include Republican Senators Jeff Flake and Lisa Murkowski, and Democratic Senator Joe Manchin.
Vice President Mike Pence is in Washington D.C. this weekend in case his vote is needed to break a tie.
Pence has expressed support for Kavanaugh and would likely vote to confirm Kavanaugh if needed.
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Here’s a live broadcast of the cloture vote from inside the chamber —
If a majority of the upper chamber is able to vote in favor of Kavanaugh, the Senate will move forward to a final confirmation vote that is expected to happen as early as Saturday.
On Friday morning, Manchin told reporters he was “still undecided” and “will probably be undecided until I walk in the door.”
One GOP senator expressed on Thursday that he did not know how he planned to vote, but found the FBI reportings to be thorough — hinting at a possible vote in favor of Kavanaugh.
Friday’s vote will be a procedural one to end the debate, and some fence-sitting senators could conceivably vote to advance Kavanaugh’s nomination but still hold out their support ahead of a final confirmation roll call over the weekend.
–The Horn editorial team