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.
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 McCaskillRepublicans may regret restricting reproductive rights Sunday shows preview: States deal with fallout of Ida; Texas abortion law takes effect Giuliani to stump for Greitens in Missouri 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 ManchinJoe ManchinBriahna Joy Gray: Push toward major social spending amid pandemic was 'short-lived' Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Emissions heading toward pre-pandemic levels Biden discusses agenda with Schumer, Pelosi ahead of pivotal week MORE (W.Va.) and Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampProgressives prepare to launch counterattack in tax fight Business groups aim to divide Democrats on .5T spending bill On The Money: Powell signals Fed will soon cut stimulus 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.