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 CornynThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump says no legislation until Dems end probes Bipartisan House bill calls for strategy to protect 5G networks from foreign threats Collins offering bill to boost battery research as GOP pushes energy 'innovation' 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 McConnellThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump orders more troops to Mideast amid Iran tensions What if 2020 election is disputed? Immigration bills move forward amid political upheaval 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 FlakeSen. Coons examines Amazon's privacy and data security practices for Alexa devices Oil companies join blitz for carbon tax The Hill's Morning Report - White House, Congress: Urgency of now around budget MORE (R-Ariz.), who has feuded with President TrumpDonald John TrumpA better VA, with mental health services, is essential for America's veterans Pelosi, Nadler tangle on impeachment, contempt vote Trump arrives in Japan to kick off 4-day state visit 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 CorkerJeff Daniels blasts 'cowardice' of Senate Republicans against Trump Corker: 'I just don't' see path to challenge Trump in 2020 Ex-GOP Sen. Corker: Trump primary would be 'good thing for our country' 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 GrassleyTrump-Pelosi fight threatens drug pricing talks Overnight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — Senators unveil sweeping bipartisan health care package | House lawmakers float Medicare pricing reforms | Dems offer bill to guarantee abortion access Bipartisan senators reveal sweeping health care package 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 TillisThe Hill's Morning Report — After contentious week, Trump heads for Japan Collins offering bill to boost battery research as GOP pushes energy 'innovation' Lawmakers call for investigation after census hired registered sex offender 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) ManchinSenate Democrats to House: Tamp down the impeachment talk The Hill's Morning Report - Trump says no legislation until Dems end probes Senate panel approves Interior nominee over objections from Democrats MORE (W.Va.), Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyK Street giants scoop up coveted ex-lawmakers Obama honors 'American statesman' Richard Lugar Former GOP senator Richard Lugar dies at 87 MORE (Ind.) and Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampOn The Money: Stocks sink on Trump tariff threat | GOP caught off guard by new trade turmoil | Federal deficit grew 38 percent this fiscal year | Banks avoid taking position in Trump, Dem subpoena fight Fight over Trump's new NAFTA hits key stretch Former senators launching effort to help Dems win rural votes 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.