Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyBiden's program for migrant children doesn't go far enough The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden support, gas tax questions remain on infrastructure 64 percent of Iowans say 'time for someone else' to hold Grassley's Senate seat: poll MORE (R-Iowa) announced Wednesday that he is canceling votes on nearly two dozen of President TrumpDonald TrumpGuardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa wins GOP primary in NYC mayor's race Garland dismisses broad review of politicization of DOJ under Trump Schumer vows next steps after 'ridiculous,' 'awful' GOP election bill filibuster MORE’s judicial nominees that were expected to come up in the Judiciary Committee this week.

The cancellation of the committee’s Thursday business meeting comes as Senate Republicans are in a standoff with outgoing Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeOn The Trail: Arizona is microcosm of battle for the GOP Trump looms large over fractured Arizona GOP Why Republican politicians are sticking with Trump MORE (R-Ariz.), who has vowed to oppose all court picks until he gets a vote on legislation protecting special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE

The notification from the Judiciary Committee didn’t specify when, or if, the committee votes on the nominations would be rescheduled. Six circuit court nominees had been expected to get a vote, as well as 15 district court nominees. 

ADVERTISEMENT

But Grassley warned late Wednesday afternoon that he would likely cancel the meeting unless he could get a deal with Flake that would allow the nominations to move forward.

“We haven’t canceled the meeting yet,” Grassley said roughly an hour before the announcement. “If we don’t get a positive out of it, we’ll probably cancel the meeting.”

Republicans hold a 51-49 majority in the Senate, allowing them to move Trump's nominees despite Flake as long as the remaining 50 Republican senators remain united.

But on the Judiciary Committee Republicans are limited to a 11-10 majority, meaning they need Flake's support unless they can get help from Democrats.

"We can vote on all the people who cleared the committee," said Sen. John CornynJohn CornynProgressive groups launch .5M ad buy to pressure Sinema on filibuster Black lawmakers warn against complacency after Juneteenth victory The Senate is where dreams go to die MORE (Texas), the No. 2 Republican senator and a member of the Judiciary Committee. "But in terms of getting a vote out of committee, we need his help."

Flake reiterated earlier Wednesday that he remains committed to opposing nominees until he gets a vote on the Mueller protection bill. He tried to get consent to schedule a vote on the bill Wednesday but was blocked by Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeSenate confirms Biden pick for No. 2 role at Interior Big Tech critic Lina Khan named chair of the FTC GOP senators press Justice Department to compare protest arrests to Capitol riot MORE (R-Utah), who warned that the legislation was unconstitutional. 

The resolution, which cleared the Judiciary Committee earlier this year, would protect Mueller, or any other special counsel, in the event he is fired, but the bill has stalled amid opposition from GOP leadership.

The bill would codify Justice Department regulations that say only a senior department official could fire Mueller or another special counsel.

It would give a special counsel an "expedited review" of their firing. If a court determines that it wasn't for "good cause," the special counsel would be reinstated.