GOP confident Collins will back Kavanaugh

Republican senators are confident that Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsOvernight Defense: Senate bucks Trump with Yemen war vote, resolution calling crown prince 'responsible' for Khashoggi killing | House briefing on Saudi Arabia fails to move needle | Inhofe casts doubt on Space Force House Dems follow Senate action with resolution to overturn IRS donor disclosure guidance Senate votes to overturn IRS guidance limiting donor disclosure 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 DainesGOP lawmakers push Trump to take ‘any appropriate action’ to save Keystone XL Overnight Defense: Senate bucks Trump with Yemen war vote, resolution calling crown prince 'responsible' for Khashoggi killing | House briefing on Saudi Arabia fails to move needle | Inhofe casts doubt on Space Force Overnight Health Care: Senators urge vote on delaying health insurance tax | Joe Kennedy III 'hopeful' he can back 'Medicare for all' bill | Latest Ebola outbreak becomes world's 2nd-worst 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 MurkowskiHouse funding bill scraps Arctic icebreaker program Senate advances Trump energy pick after Manchin flips The Senate must reject Bernard McNamee’s nomination for FERC 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 CornynKevin McLaughlin tapped to serve as NRSC executive director for 2020 On The Money: Trump leaves GOP in turmoil with shutdown looming | Trump names Mulvaney acting chief of staff | China agrees to 3-month freeze of auto tariffs | Dem to seek Deutsche Bank records of Trump's personal finances The Hill's Morning Report — Trump maintains his innocence amid mounting controversies MORE (Texas) and Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump touts ruling against ObamaCare: ‘Mitch and Nancy’ should pass new health-care law Federal judge in Texas strikes down ObamaCare Ocasio-Cortez: By Lindsey Graham's 1999 standard for Clinton, Trump should be impeached 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 AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderRepublicans skeptical of Trump’s plan to have military build the wall The Year Ahead: Drug pricing efforts to test bipartisanship Overnight Health Care: Manchin pitched Trump on reviving bipartisan ObamaCare fix | 4 in 10 don’t plan to get flu shots | Survey finds more than a quarter have pre-existing conditions MORE (Tenn.), Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonSenate heads toward floor fight on criminal justice bill McConnell sets Monday test vote on criminal justice bill Trump attorney general pick a prolific donor to GOP candidates, groups: report MORE (Ark.), and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamOcasio-Cortez: By Lindsey Graham's 1999 standard for Clinton, Trump should be impeached Senate votes to end US support for Saudi war, bucking Trump Former FBI official says Mueller won’t be ‘colored by politics’ in Russia probe MORE (S.C.) also gathered around Collins as well.

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