Grassley moves to set up committee vote on Kavanaugh nomination

Grassley moves to set up committee vote on Kavanaugh nomination
© Greg Nash

Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyThe Hill's Morning Report - What to watch for as Mueller’s probe winds down Overnight Health Care — Presented by National Taxpayers Union — Drug pricing fight centers on insulin | Florida governor working with Trump to import cheaper drugs | Dems blast proposed ObamaCare changes Drug pricing fight centers on insulin MORE (R-Iowa) is moving to set up a Senate Judiciary Committee vote on Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination, likely next week.   

Grassley's office on Monday sent out an agenda for a business meeting the committee will have on Thursday. Kavanaugh's nomination is included as one of roughly two dozen judicial nominations that could get a vote. 

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The move means Kavanaugh's nomination could get a vote as soon as this week. But Democrats are expected to delay the vote until next week, meaning Kavanaugh's nomination will likely be taken up by the committee on Sept. 20.

Under committee rules, any one senator can delay a nomination by a week when it's on the agenda for the first time, as Kavanaugh's nomination will be on Thursday. Nominations are routinely held over for a week.

Grassley had previously indicated last Thursday that he would place Kavanaugh's nomination on the committee's agenda for Sept. 13. 

Grassley's notice on Monday formally sets in motion the Republican plan of getting Kavanaugh confirmed to the Supreme Court by October, when the justices will start their next term.  

Republicans hold the majority on the Judiciary Committee, so Kavanaugh is expected to easily clear the panel despite last week's heated four-day hearing. 

Kavanaugh will then need a simple majority to get confirmed by the full Senate. 

If Democrats want to sink his nomination they'll need to peel off at least two Republican senators, as well as keep their entire caucus united. 

No Democrats have said they will support Kavanaugh, yet. But several red-state Democrats are viewed as potential "yes" votes.

Democratic Sens. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinOvernight Energy: Trump ends talks with California on car emissions | Dems face tough vote on Green New Deal | Climate PAC backing Inslee in possible 2020 run Dems face tough vote on Green New Deal Gabbard cites ‘concerns’ about ‘vagueness’ of Green New Deal MORE (W.Va.), Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampOvernight 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 Trump picks ex-oil lobbyist David Bernhardt for Interior secretary On The Money: Shutdown Day 27 | Trump fires back at Pelosi by canceling her foreign travel | Dems blast 'petty' move | Trump also cancels delegation to Davos | House votes to disapprove of Trump lifting Russia sanction MORE (N.D.) and Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyOvernight 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 Trump picks ex-oil lobbyist David Bernhardt for Interior secretary EPA's Wheeler faces grilling over rule rollbacks MORE (Ind.) are seen as the Democrats most likely to vote "yes" on Kavanaugh. Several other red- and purple-state Democrats — including Sen. Doug Jones (Ala.), who wasn't in the Senate for the Neil Gorsuch fight — also remain undecided. 

Meanwhile, Democrats' best shot at picking up the two GOP votes they need to sink Kavanaugh's nomination are likely GOP Sens. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsOn The Money: Senate Dems to introduce resolution blocking Trump emergency declaration | Banks made billion in extra profits thanks to GOP tax law | IRS analyst charged with leaking Cohen's financial records Senate Dems to introduce resolution blocking Trump's emergency declaration The Hill's Morning Report - What to watch for as Mueller’s probe winds down MORE (Maine) and Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiSenate Dems to introduce resolution blocking Trump's emergency declaration GOP Sen. Collins says she'll back resolution to block Trump's emergency declaration The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump escalates fight with NY Times MORE (Alaska), both of whom have previously broken with the party on ObamaCare repeal and abortion legislation.