Dems propose timeline for Garland
© Greg Nash

Senate Democrats are offering up a timeline for moving on Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, including a first hearing next month. 

Democrats on the Judiciary Committee sent a letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOvernight Defense: House passes T spending package with defense funds | Senate set to vote on blocking Saudi arms sales | UN nominee defends climate change record Overnight Defense: House passes T spending package with defense funds | Senate set to vote on blocking Saudi arms sales | UN nominee defends climate change record Senate to vote Thursday to block Trump's Saudi arms deal MORE (R-Ky.) and Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyOvernight Health Care: Trump officials defend changes to family planning program | Senators unveil bipartisan package on health costs | Democrats pass T spending bill with HHS funds Overnight Health Care: Trump officials defend changes to family planning program | Senators unveil bipartisan package on health costs | Democrats pass T spending bill with HHS funds Grassley announces opposition to key Trump proposal to lower drug prices MORE (R-Iowa), warning their current strategy is an "unprecedented break." 
 
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"Our constitutional role in providing advice and consent on the president's nominees is no different in our first year or sixth year as senators. And it is no different in an election year," they wrote in the letter, which was sent Monday. 
 
Democrats want Garland's Judiciary Committee hearing to start on April 27, a committee vote by May 12 and a full Senate vote by May 25. 
 
The timeline, they write, is based on the average confirmation time for Supreme Court nominees since 1975. 
 
"We hope and expect the pending nominee will receive the same timely consideration that Supreme Court nominees have received for the last 40 years," they added. 
 
The letter comes as Democrats and outside groups continue to hope an onslaught of pressure will force GOP leadership to cave and take up Garland's nomination. 
 
Top Republicans, however, have shown no signs of cracking. 
 
Speaking to constituents in Iowa Monday, Grassley defended his position, saying the presidential election would politicize a Supreme Court nomination. 
 
"It's not fair to the country; it's not fair to the Senate; it's not fair to the nominee to put the person, in the words Biden used, in the cauldron of a presidential election year. When things are so highly politicized that that takes priority over the consideration," he told KSFY, a Sioux Falls, South Dakota, ABC station. 
 
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