Republicans emerged from a closed-door caucus meeting on Thursday night saying they will move forward Friday with a committee vote on Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination.

The vote will come a day after dramatic testimony from the nominee and Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused him of sexual assault.

Several Republicans, including GOP Sen. John CornynJohn CornynBiden pushes into Trump territory Cruz: Hunter Biden attacks don't move 'a single voter' Bloomberg spending millions on Biden push in Texas, Ohio MORE (Texas), said the plan is for the Judiciary Committee to hold a vote on Friday, which would pave the way for a vote to end debate in the full Senate on Monday and a final vote on his nomination Tuesday.

"I'm optimistic, yeah. I don't see any reason why he wouldn't be voted out positively," Cornyn told reporters as he left the Capitol for the night.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBitter fight over Barrett fuels calls to nix filibuster, expand court Trump blasts Obama speech for Biden as 'fake' after Obama hits Trump's tax payments White House hoping for COVID-19 relief deal 'within weeks': spokeswoman MORE (R-Ky.) told reporters that the committee would vote Friday and said Republicans were "very optimistic we're going to succeed."


The one vote on Judiciary in question is Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeOne of life's great mysteries: Why would any conservative vote for Biden? Trump excoriates Sasse over leaked audio Biden holds 8-point lead over Trump in Arizona: poll MORE (R-Ariz.), who has feuded with President TrumpDonald John TrumpGiuliani goes off on Fox Business host after she compares him to Christopher Steele Trump looks to shore up support in Nebraska NYT: Trump had 7 million in debt mostly tied to Chicago project forgiven MORE and in a floor speech this week criticized both sides on the Kavanaugh matter. He is officially undecided on Kavanaugh.

Flake is officially undecided on Kavanaugh and gave few hints during the hours-long Thursday hearing about which way he was leaning.

He told reporters after the closed-door meeting that he remained undecided and wanted to think on the decision over Thursday night, setting up a potentially dramatic moment at the Judiciary Committee vote on Friday.

"It's a tough one," he said of Kavanaugh's nomination, adding that he is still "chasing down a few things."
"They both did well. He offered a defense like you would expect from someone who felt they were wrongly accused and you know, she offered compelling testimony as well," Flake added.
If Flake votes "yes" on Kavanaugh, that would allow Republicans to favorably vote him out of the Judiciary Committee. If he sides with every Democrat on the panel—none of whom are expected to vote for Trump's nominee—Republicans would need to look at other procedural options to get him to the Senate floor.
Republicans are moving forward even as they acknowledged after the roughly hour-long meeting that its was unclear if they had the votes to ultimately get Kavanaugh confirmed or even reported favorably out of the Judiciary Committee. 
They got a boost after the meeting when Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerCornyn: Relationships with Trump like 'women who get married and think they're going to change their spouse' Trump excoriates Sasse over leaked audio Has Congress captured Russia policy? MORE (R-Tenn.), who had been undecided but favorable of Kavanaugh, formally announced that he would vote yes.

“There is no question that Judge Kavanaugh is qualified to serve on the Supreme Court, and in a different political environment, he would be confirmed overwhelmingly," Corker said. “I believe Judge Kavanaugh has conducted himself as well as anyone could expect throughout this process and plan to vote to confirm him.”
Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyBarrett confirmation stokes Democrats' fears over ObamaCare On The Money: Power players play chess match on COVID-19 aid | Pelosi bullish, Trump tempers optimism | Analysis: Nearly 1M have run out of jobless benefits Grassley: Voters should be skeptical of Biden's pledge to not raise middle class taxes MORE (R-Iowa) refused to answer most questions except to tell reporters that the committee will be holding its business meeting at 9:30 a.m. on Friday.

"It depends on what happens tomorrow. We're meeting at 9:30 a.m.," Grassley said.

Sen. Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisNearly 47 percent of all North Carolina registered voters have already cast their ballots The coverage of the 2020 campaign is wrong Trump campaign asks Supreme Court to halt North Carolina absentee ballot plan MORE (R-N.C.) added that it was now up to GOP leadership to "go count votes."

McConnell called the caucus meeting so the caucus could discus the floor and vote schedule after the hearing, a spokesman told The Hill earlier Thursday.

Rachel Mitchell, the outside counsel, joined senators for most of the meeting to discuss her impression of the hearing and the facts established during the hours-long process.

"We just talked about the hearing and gave opportunities for other members to ask questions who weren't on the committee," Tillis added of the closed-door meeting.

Murkowski didn't indicate to reporters as she left the meeting if she had made a decision.

"I am going to go home, have some dinner and have a chance to think about all that's gone on," she told reporters, asked how was feeling about the hearing.
Because Republicans hold a narrow 51-seat majority they can only afford to lose one GOP senator and still confirm Kavanaugh without help from Democrats. 
Several red-state Democrats including Sens. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinBitter fight over Barrett fuels calls to nix filibuster, expand court Democratic Senate emerges as possible hurdle for progressives  Susan Collins and the American legacy MORE (W.Va.), Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyBiden and Schumer face battles with left if Democrats win big Harris walks fine line on Barrett as election nears The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by JobsOhio - Showdown: Trump-Biden debate likely to be nasty MORE (Ind.) and Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by JobsOhio - Showdown: Trump-Biden debate likely to be nasty Senate Democrats want to avoid Kavanaugh 2.0 Harris faces pivotal moment with Supreme Court battle MORE (N.D.) haven't said how they will vote.

Manchin huddled with Collins, Murkowski and Flake before the closed-door GOP caucus meeting in Thursday.

He told reporters ahead of the GOP meeting that he had "nothing to say" and "no decision has been made."

--Juliegrace Brufke and Melanie Zanona contributed to this report that was updated at 9:17 p.m.