Female Dems see double standard in Klobuchar accusations
McConnell predicts Senate vote on Kavanaugh in last week of September
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday said that he expects Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination to get a Senate vote in the final week of September.
"We anticipate that Judge Kavanaugh will be on the floor of the Senate the last week in September. I'm confident he'll be confirmed," McConnell told reporters in Louisville, Ky., adding that he believes Kavanaugh did a "spectacular job" during his hearing before the Judiciary Committee last week.
There were "a lot of antics in the audience and some passion from various members of the Judiciary Committee but he kept his cool," McConnell added.
McConnell's timeline would allow Republicans to get Kavanaugh on the bench before the Supreme Court starts its next term at the beginning of October.
It also aligns with the timeline for getting Kavanaugh's nomination out of the Judiciary Committee.
Though Kavanaugh's nomination will appear on the Judiciary Committee's business meeting on Thursday, Democrats are expected to delay a vote until next week, likely on Sept. 20.
Under committee rules, any one member can request a nomination be held over for a week the first time it appears on the agenda like Kavanaugh's will be on Thursday. Nominations are routinely delayed by a week.
Despite an at times chaotic hearing last week, Kavanaugh is expected to be cleared out of the Judiciary Committee, where Republicans have a majority.
His nomination would then get a vote on the Senate floor during the week of Sept. 24.
Because Republicans went "nuclear" last year to nix the 60-vote filibuster for Supreme Court nominees, Kavanaugh will only need a simple majority to get confirmed.
That means Republicans could approve his nomination without help from Democrats if their 51-member caucus remains united.
Several Democrats, who were widely expected to be no votes, have formally announced their opposition to Kavanaugh in the wake of the hearing.
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.
Democrats' best shot at picking up the two GOP votes are likely Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), both of whom have previously broken with their party on ObamaCare repeal and abortion legislation.
No Democrats have said they will support Kavanaugh, yet. But several red-state Democrats are viewed as potential "yes" votes.
Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.) and Joe Donnelly (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.