Gorsuch sherpa: Dems giving GOP ‘no choice’ on nuclear option

Former Sen. Kelly AyotteKelly Ann AyotteTrump voter fraud panel member fights back against critics Dems plan to make gun control an issue in Nevada Stale, misguided, divisive: minimum wage can't win elections MORE (R-N.H.) says Democrats are set to force Republicans into exercising the “nuclear option” on Neil Gorsuch’s Supreme Court confirmation vote.

“Unfortunately, the Democrats are just obstructing [Gorsuch’s] ability to have this up-or-down vote,” Ayotte, who was tasked by the Trump administration with guiding Gorsuch's confirmation process, said Monday on Fox Business Network’s “Cavuto Coast to Coast.”

“The Republicans have made clear that he’s going to be confirmed one way or the other,” she added.

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The Senate Judiciary Committee earlier Monday advanced Gorsuch’s nomination 11-9 along party lines, setting up a bitter floor fight that will likely result in Republicans triggering the nuclear option.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell expects Paul to return to Senate next week Former Hill staff calls for mandatory harassment training Gaming the odds of any GOP tax bill getting signed into law MORE (R-Ky.) is expected to schedule a Thursday vote to end a Democratic filibuster of Gorsuch, which would require 60 votes.

Senate Democrats clinched enough support Monday for blocking Gorsuch’s confirmation.

GOP senators are now seemingly resigned to lowering the vote threshold for confirming Supreme Court nominees and circumventing the filibuster against Gorsuch.

“They’re being left with no choice but to change the rules. I know that’s not what they had hoped had happened, but I don’t see at this point what choice they’re left,” Ayotte said.

Democrats remain furious after Senate Republicans refused to hold a vote on Merrick Garland, former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaOvernight Cybersecurity: What we learned from Carter Page's House Intel testimony | House to mark up foreign intel reform law | FBI can't access Texas shooter's phone | Sessions to testify at hearing amid Russia scrutiny Russian social media is the modern-day Trojan horse Trump records robo-call for Gillespie: He'll help 'make America great again' MORE’s Supreme Court nominee, last year.

The Supreme Court has had eight justices since the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February 2016.