McConnell doubles down on SCOTUS ahead of Obama meeting
© Greg Nash
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGun proposal picks up GOP support Children’s health-care bill faces new obstacles Dems see Trump as potential ally on gun reform MORE (R-Ky.) signaled early Tuesday that while he's willing to meet with President Obama on a Supreme Court nominee, Republicans are sticking with their strategy to block his selection. 
 
"We will reiterate that the American people will have a voice in the vacancy on the Supreme Court as they choose the next president," the Republican leader said. "In other words, we'll observe the Biden Rule." 
 
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McConnell's comments come as he, Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidChris Murphy’s profile rises with gun tragedies Republicans are headed for a disappointing end to their year in power Obama's HHS secretary could testify in Menendez trial MORE (D-Nev.), and Sens. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyRepublicans jockey for position on immigration House clears bill to combat crimes against elderly Grassley: DACA deal wouldn't need border wall funding MORE (R-Iowa) and Pat Leahy (D-Vt.) — the top members of the Judiciary Committee — are expected to meet with the president later Tuesday. 
 
Republicans have repeatedly pointed to comments from top Democrats, including Vice President Biden, as they look to blunt Democratic criticism that they aren't doing their job by refusing to give Obama's nominee a hearing or a vote. 
 
McConnell instead said senators and Obama should use Tuesday's meeting to talk about "ways we can work together" in areas such as combating an opioid and heroin epidemic. 
 
Democrats maintain that Republicans will eventually cave to pressure and take up Obama's nominee, with Reid adding Tuesday that some on the other side of the aisle are "already are starting to see ... the light." 
 
"The Constitution reigns supreme simply in saying, 'Do your job, among other things,'" he added. 
 
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, said Monday that he believes Obama's nominee to succeed Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia should get a hearing.