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

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate Republicans tested on Trump support after Mueller Anti-smoking advocates question industry motives for backing higher purchasing age Former Bush assistant: Mueller report makes Obama look 'just plain bad' 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 TrumpThorny part of obstruction of justice is proving intent, that's a job for Congress Obama condemns attacks in Sri Lanka as 'an attack on humanity' Schiff rips Conway's 'display of alternative facts' on Russian election interference 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 GrassleyOn The Money: Inside the Mueller report | Cain undeterred in push for Fed seat | Analysis finds modest boost to economy from new NAFTA | White House says deal will give auto sector B boost The 7 most interesting nuggets from the Mueller report Government report says new NAFTA would have minimal impact on economy 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 McCainEarth Day founder's daughter: Most Republican leaders believe in climate change in private Trump gives nod to vulnerable GOP Sen. McSally with bill signing Democrats need a 'celebrity' candidate — and it's not Biden or Sanders 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 Republicans tested on Trump support after Mueller Collins: Mueller report includes 'an unflattering portrayal' of Trump GOP senator: 'No problem' with Mueller testifying MORE (Maine), Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiCain says he 'won't run away from criticism' in push for Fed seat Cain says he won't back down, wants to be nominated to Fed License to discriminate: Religious exemption laws are trampling rights in rural America MORE (Alaska) and Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulBooker, Harris have missed most Senate votes Trump vetoes measure ending US support for Saudi-led war in Yemen Bottom line 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."