McConnell: Senate to confirm Kavanaugh by Oct. 1
© Greg Nash

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOvernight Defense: Trump tries to quell Russia furor | GOP looks to reassure NATO | Mattis open to meeting Russian counterpart Senate weighs new Russia response amid Trump backlash House passes bipartisan bill to boost business investment MORE (R-Ky.) said Friday that he expects the Senate to vote on Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination before the court starts its next term. 

"The timetable typically for recent Supreme Court justices, if we stuck to that timetable and I intend to, would give us an opportunity to get this new justice on the court by the first of October," McConnell told reporters in Kentucky on Friday. 

The timeline lines up with a similar estimate the GOP leader made late last month before President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says he doesn't want to use 'adversary' to describe Russia Comey urges Americans to vote for Democrats in midterms Roby wins Alabama GOP runoff, overcoming blowback from Trump criticism MORE named Kavanaugh as his pick. 

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Kavanaugh is making his rounds on Capitol Hill as he works to lock down the simple majority support he'll need to be confirmed as Justice Anthony Kennedy's successor on the high court. 

Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleySenate GOP poised to break record on Trump's court picks This week: GOP mulls vote on ‘abolish ICE’ legislation Kavanaugh paper chase heats up MORE (R-Iowa) hasn't said when the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on the nomination. 

But McConnell predicted on Friday that it will likely take place in late August or early September. The Senate is expected to be in Washington for most of August after McConnell canceled three weeks of the summer recess.  

McConnell added that he expects Kavanaugh will be able to win over the simple majority needed to be confirmed. If Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainPence, Pompeo urged Trump to clarify Russia remarks: report GOP lawmaker renews call for Trump to release tax returns after Putin summit House conservatives criticize media, not Trump, for Putin furor MORE (R-Ariz.), who is battling brain cancer at his home in Arizona, doesn't return for the vote, Kavanaugh would need the backing of 50 senators. 

Republicans could confirm Trump's pick without help from Democrats if the caucus rallies behind Kavanaugh. 

But several GOP senators — including Sens. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSenate weighs new Russia response amid Trump backlash This week: GOP mulls vote on ‘abolish ICE’ legislation Dem infighting erupts over Supreme Court pick MORE (Maine), Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiThis week: GOP mulls vote on ‘abolish ICE’ legislation Dem infighting erupts over Supreme Court pick McConnell: Senate to confirm Kavanaugh by Oct. 1 MORE (Alaska) and Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulThe Nation editor: Reaction by most of the media to Trump-Putin press conference 'is like mob violence' Lewandowski: Trump-Putin meeting advances goal of world peace Rand Paul to travel to Russia after downplaying election meddling MORE (Ky.) — remain undecided. 

Collins and Murkowski, however, have hinted that Kavanaugh's confirmation could be smooth, despite strong lobbying over their votes.

Several Democratic senators, including those up for reelection in states won by Trump, also remain on the fence, though McConnell predicted that most members already know how they're going to vote. 

"I think most members who are in the undecided column will wait until the hearing," he said. "My suspicion is there's a fairly small number of people who are genuinely undecided."