Some Republicans also objected to the fact that McConnell had donated around $700,000 to the Democratic Party over the years, including some money to Rhode Island Sens. Jack ReedJack ReedTop Armed Services Dem: Trump's North Korea 'ad lib' not helpful Mattis warns North Korea of 'destruction of its people' Closing old military bases will help our defense — and our communities MORE and Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseAmerican horses deserve safety, and the SAFE Act Lawmakers target horse meat trade Dems introduce legislation to protect manned aircraft from drones MORE, both of whom actively support his confirmation for the judgeship in Rhode Island. 

In the end McConnell’s confirmation was not scuttled because 11 Republicans joined Democrats to vote for cloture allowing consideration of the nominee to go on. The final vote was 66 to 33.

Sen. Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderTrump to make ObamaCare payments to insurers for August CBO: ObamaCare premiums could rise 20 percent if Trump ends payments CBO to release report Tuesday on ending ObamaCare insurer payments MORE (R-Tenn.) was one Republican who opposed McConnell’s nomination but still urged his colleagues to vote to invoke cloture. Alexander said he was deferring to Senate tradition that generally excludes nominees from cloture votes. McConnell is only the fourth judicial nominee in the last 60 years of Senate history who has had cloture filed on his confirmation vote.

Following the vote, Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidOPINION | 5 ways Democrats can win back power in the states THE MEMO: Trump's base cheers attacks on McConnell It's time for McConnell to fight with Trump instead of against him MORE (D-Nev.) expressed satisfaction at the assistance that came from across the aisle.

“I express my appreciation for those on the other side, who did the right thing,” said Reid. “Later on there is ample time to make the case if you don’t like him."

McConnell still faces the actual confirmation vote in the Senate, most likely later this week.