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 ReedTaking the easy layup: Why brain cancer patients depend on it Intel chief quiet on whether Trump asked him to deny Russia evidence Dem senators push for probe of Sessions over Comey firing MORE and Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseDOJ pitches agreements to solve international data warrant woes Senators push for enhanced powers to battle botnets GOP rejects Dem effort to demand Trump’s tax returns 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 AlexanderLamar AlexanderOvernight Regulation: Appeals court upholds injunction on Trump travel ban | GOP bill would scrap 'micro-unions' Republicans introduce bill to scrap 'micro-unions' Overnight Healthcare: CBO fallout | GOP senators distance themselves from House bill | Trump budget chief blasts score | Schumer says House bill belongs 'in the trash' 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 ReidGOP frustrated by slow pace of Trump staffing This week: Congress awaits Comey testimony Will Republicans grow a spine and restore democracy? 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.