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

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOn The Money: Shutdown Day 25 | Dems reject White House invite for talks | Leaders nix recess with no deal | McConnell blocks second House Dem funding bill | IRS workers called back for tax-filing season | Senate bucks Trump on Russia sanctions Mellman: Why does the GOP persist? Leaders nix recess with no shutdown deal in sight 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 TrumpVeterans groups demand end to shutdown: 'Get your act together' Brown launches tour in four early nominating states amid 2020 consideration Pence on border wall: Trump won't be ‘deterred’ by Dem ‘obstruction’ 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 GrassleyThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Trump AG pick Barr grilled at hearing | Judge rules against census citizenship question | McConnell blocks second House bill to reopen government Five things to watch during Barr’s confirmation hearing McConnell rebukes Steve King over white nationalist comments 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 McCainTrump is right: Walls work on the southern border How news media omissions distort Russia probe narrative ... and shield Democrats Arizona city council halts work on mural honoring John McCain over ‘protocol’ concerns, neighbor complaints 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 CollinsOvernight Defense: Trump faces blowback over report he discussed leaving NATO | Pentagon extends mission on border | Senate advances measure bucking Trump on Russia sanctions Senate advances measure bucking Trump on Russia sanctions Mnuchin meets with Senate GOP to shore up ranks on Russia sanctions vote MORE (Maine), Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiLeaders nix recess with no shutdown deal in sight McConnell: Senate will not recess if government still shutdown Kaine threatens to object to Senate leaving for recess MORE (Alaska) and Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulMedia fails spectacularly at smearing Rand Paul for surgery in Canada Rand Paul to have hernia surgery in Canada Ron Paul: Remove incentives for illegal immigrants instead of building border wall 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."