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

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGraham backs bill to protect Mueller Grassley defends acting AG against calls for recusal Former staffers push Congress for action on sexual harassment measure 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 TrumpDeath toll in Northern California wildfire rises to 48: authorities Graham backs bill to protect Mueller Denham loses GOP seat in California MORE named Kavanaugh as his pick. 

ADVERTISEMENT

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 GrassleyPavlich: Where is Brett Kavanaugh’s apology? Grassley defends acting AG against calls for recusal Feinstein requests Senate hearings with Whitaker, Sessions 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 McCainVan Hollen not interested in staying on as chair of Senate Dems' campaign arm Election Countdown: Lawsuits fly in Florida recount fight | Nelson pushes to extend deadline | Judge says Georgia county violated Civil Rights Act | Biden, Sanders lead 2020 Dem field in poll | Bloomberg to decide on 2020 by February Jeff Flake congratulates Kyrsten Sinema on win: ‘You’ll be great’ 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 CollinsDems vow swift action on gun reform next year Collins reiterates call for legislation to protect Mueller investigation GOP nerves on edge after Sinema takes lead over McSally MORE (Maine), Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiEarmarks look to be making a comeback Trump and Pelosi set to collide as Democrats celebrate their power Poll: Palin unpopular in Alaska following jab at Murkowski MORE (Alaska) and Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulSchumer’s headaches to multiply in next Congress GOP pollster says Republicans could break with Trump on Saudi Arabia Overnight Defense: Trump says 15,000 troops could deploy to border | Mattis insists deployment is not 'stunt' | Pompeo calls for Yemen peace talks in November 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."