GOP confident Collins will back Kavanaugh

Republican senators are confident that Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsPhotos of the Week: Schumer, ASU protest and sea turtles Real relief from high gas prices The Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden to announce increased measures for omicron MORE (R-Maine) will announce her support for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on Friday afternoon, after days of talking to her about her concerns.

GOP senators swarmed around Collins after a key procedural vote Friday morning, in which Collins voted to advance the nominee to an up-or-down vote on Saturday. She cast her vote shortly after saying she would announce her position on Kavanaugh during a 3 p.m. floor speech on Friday.

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But Republicans are feeling assured that Collins won’t sink Kavanaugh, which would send the GOP base into turmoil a month before the Nov. 6 midterm elections.

Sen. Steve DainesSteven (Steve) David DainesBill honoring 13 service members killed in Afghanistan heads to Biden's desk The Memo: Much-criticized Trump policy puts Biden in a vise The good, bad, and ugly of Tester's Blackfoot-Clearwater Stewardship Act MORE (R-Mont.), whose daughter is getting married this weekend in Montana, told reporters after Friday morning's procedural vote that they had the final confirmation vote "covered."

“We’re going to have a new Supreme Court justice this weekend, and I’m going to get to walk my daughter down the aisle,” Daines said.

The Senate advanced Kavanaugh's nomination on a mostly party-line 51-49 vote on Friday.

A mini wave of panic spread over the Senate GOP conference Friday morning after Republican Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiCongress should reject H.R. 1619's dangerous anywhere, any place casino precedent Democratic frustration growing over stagnating voting rights bills Graham emerges as go-to ally for Biden's judicial picks MORE (Alaska) voted to block Kavanaugh's nomination.

Collins and Murkowski sit next to each other on the Senate floor and Collins briefly hugged Murkowski after the vote.

Senate Republican Whip John CornynJohn CornynHouse passes bill to expedite financial disclosures from judges McConnell leaves GOP in dark on debt ceiling Congress's goal in December: Avoid shutdown and default MORE (Texas) and Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellUS could default within weeks absent action on debt limit: analysis The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Congress avoids shutdown Senate dodges initial December crisis with last-minute deal MORE’s (R-Ky.) chief of staff Sharon Soderstrom made a bee line to Collins right after the vote to make sure she is not going to defect.

GOP Sens. Lamar AlexanderLamar AlexanderMcConnell gets GOP wake-up call The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Democrats return to disappointment on immigration Authorities link ex-Tennessee governor to killing of Jimmy Hoffa associate MORE (Tenn.), Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonConservatives target Biden pick for New York district court GOP anger with Fauci rises Cotton swipes at Fauci: 'These bureaucrats think that they are the science' MORE (Ark.), and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGraham emerges as go-to ally for Biden's judicial picks This Thanksgiving, skip the political food fights and talk UFOs instead Biden move to tap oil reserves draws GOP pushback MORE (S.C.) also gathered around Collins as well.

“She’s fine,” said one GOP senator after the vote, referring to Collins.