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 CornynConservatives wage assault on Mueller report Senate GOP poised to go 'nuclear' on Trump picks GOP rep to introduce constitutional amendment to limit Supreme Court seats to 9 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 McConnellLessons from the 1999 U.S. military intervention in Kosovo Five things to watch as AIPAC conference kicks off Romney helps GOP look for new path on climate change 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 FlakeTrump's attacks on McCain exacerbate tensions with Senate GOP Schumer to introduce bill naming Senate office building after McCain amid Trump uproar Trump keeps tight grip on GOP MORE (R-Ariz.), who has feuded with President TrumpDonald John TrumpHow to stand out in the crowd: Kirsten Gillibrand needs to find her niche Countdown clock is on for Mueller conclusions Omar: White supremacist attacks are rising because Trump publicly says 'Islam hates us' 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 CorkerTrump keeps tight grip on GOP Brexit and exit: A transatlantic comparison Sasse’s jabs at Trump spark talk of primary challenger 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 GrassleyTreasury expands penalty relief to more taxpayers Overnight Health Care: Senators seek CBO input on preventing surprise medical bills | Oversight panel seeks OxyContin documents | Pharmacy middlemen to testify on prices | Watchdog warns air ambulances can put patients at 'financial risk' Drug prices are a matter of life and death 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 TillisOvernight Health Care: CDC pushes for expanding HIV testing, treatment | Dem group launches ads attacking Trump on Medicare, Medicaid cuts | Hospitals, insurers spar over surprise bills | O'Rourke under pressure from left on Medicare for all Dem group launches ads attacking Trump's 'hypocrisy on Medicare and Medicaid cuts' Trump keeps tight grip on GOP 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) ManchinRomney helps GOP look for new path on climate change Manchin says he won't support LGBTQ protection bill as written Senators offer bipartisan bill to fix 'retail glitch' in GOP tax law MORE (W.Va.), Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyLobbying World Lobbying World Overnight Energy: Trump taps ex-oil lobbyist Bernhardt to lead Interior | Bernhardt slams Obama officials for agency's ethics issues | Head of major green group steps down MORE (Ind.) and Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampRed dresses displayed around American Indian museum to memorialize missing, murdered native women Lobbying World Lobbying World 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.