Pence: Senate will confirm Gorsuch 'one way or the other'

Pence: Senate will confirm Gorsuch 'one way or the other'
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Vice President Pence said Saturday that President Trump's Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch will be confirmed by the Senate "one way or the other" ahead of a likely Senate showdown next week.

Pence's vow echoed remarks from other top Republicans who have signaled support for potentially invoking the so-called nuclear option, changing Senate rules to confirm Gorsuch with a simple majority vote.

"For the sake of our Supreme Court, for the sake of our country, for the sake of our Constitution, we will overcome the obstructionists and the United States Senate will confirm Judge Neil Gorsuch one way or the other," Pence said at a speech in Columbus, Ohio.

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Pence's comments come ahead of a potentially bitter fight in the Senate likely to take place in the coming week over Gorsuch's nomination.

Republicans, who hold 52 seats, have scrambled to secure the support of eight Democratic senators to reach the 60 votes required under current Senate rules to confirm the Supreme Court nominee.

Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillGinsburg health scare raises prospect of election year Supreme Court battle MSNBC's McCaskill: Trump used 'his fat thumbs' to try to intimidate Yovanovitch GOP senator rips into Pelosi at Trump rally: 'It must suck to be that dumb' MORE (Mo.) on Friday became the latest Democrat to say they will vote to support a filibuster of Gorsuch, shrinking the number of Democrats who have undecided or unclear positions on Gorsuch to nine, according to The Hill's Whip List.

So far, 38 Democrats have vowed to filibuster Gorsuch while only two Democrats – Sens. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinManchin warns he'll slow-walk government funding bill until he gets deal on miners legislation Krystal Ball: Is this how Bernie Sanders will break the establishment? Potential Dem defectors face pressure on impeachment MORE (W.Va.) and Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampPro-trade group launches media buy as Trump and Democrats near deal on new NAFTA The Hill's Morning Report — Biden steadies in third debate as top tier remains the same Trump wins 60 percent approval in rural areas of key states MORE (N.D.) – have said they will support Gorsuch. Both Democrats are up for reelection next year and hail from states that Trump won by big margins in November.

Republicans have threatened to change Senate rules if Democrats try to block the nomination by eliminating their ability to filibuster and confirming Gorsuch with a simple majority vote.

Pence's comments weren't the first time the vice president threw his support behind the so-called nuclear option. In February, he said Gorsuch would join the Supreme Court "one way or the other." Trump has also urged Senate Republicans to "go nuclear" if Democrats attempt to block the nomination.

The speech on Saturday marked the vice president's third consecutive weekend trip to promote Trump's agenda. The president's young administration has faced turmoil in recent weeks amid the failure of the GOP plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare and a series controversies and revelations surrounding congressional investigations into Russian election meddling.