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Grassley agrees to second Kavanaugh hearing after GOP members revolt

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyOn The Money: Treasury announces efforts to help people get stimulus payments | Senate panel unanimously advances Yellen nomination for Treasury | Judge sets ground rules for release of Trump taxes Senate panel unanimously advances Yellen nomination for Treasury Finance Committee vote on Yellen nomination scheduled for Friday MORE (R-Iowa) agreed to schedule a second hearing on Brett Kavanaugh for next week after Republican members of his committee insisted on hearing from a woman who has accused him of sexual misconduct.

Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeArizona GOP censures top state Republicans McCain, Flake and Ducey Budowsky: Democracy won, Trump lost, President Biden inaugurated Biden's inauguration marked by conflict of hope and fear MORE (R-Ariz.) threatened to vote against Kavanaugh if his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, didn’t have a chance to testify publicly about her allegation that Kavanaugh assaulted her in high school. 

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“I would have voted "no" absent her being able to tell her story,” Flake, who is retiring after this Congress, told reporters Monday evening. 

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzBiden leans on Obama-era appointees on climate Ethics complaint filed against Biggs, Cawthorn and Gosar over Capitol riot Hawley, Cruz see approval ratings dip in wake of Capitol riot: poll MORE (R-Texas), who is facing a tough reelection battle in Texas, also exerted pressure on Grassley to schedule another hearing on Kavanaugh, as did Sen. Ben SasseBen SasseFormer official acknowledges final days in office a 'black eye' for Trump Republican senators and courage The next pandemic may be cyber — How Biden administration can stop it MORE (R-Neb.), according to two sources familiar with internal deliberations Monday. 

“Sen. Ben Sasse firmly believes that Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh deserve to be heard and that the Senate’s obligation to steward public trust means senators should deliberate thoughtfully and carefully,” said spokesman James Wegmann. 

Flake said he insisted on following committee rules, which require at least one week of notice before hearings. 

Some Republicans on the panel wanted to get the hearings over with this week and discussed changing the panel rules to allow a second hearing on Thursday, but that position failed to achieve enough support. 

A spokeswoman for Cruz did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing earlier this month was marked by partisan fighting and interruptions from protesters.

— Updated at 11:06 p.m.