FEATURED:

GOP confident Collins will back Kavanaugh

Republican senators are confident that Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsConservatives bankrolled and dominated Kavanaugh confirmation media campaign The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs — Health care a top policy message in fall campaigns Susan Collins and the mob mentality 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

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 DainesTrump administration could use military bases to export coal, gas McConnell: No one is going to beat Murkowski in Alaska Murkowski brushes off GOP backlash: 'I'm good with' Kavanaugh vote 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 MurkowskiPoll: Palin unpopular in Alaska following jab at Murkowski Conservatives bankrolled and dominated Kavanaugh confirmation media campaign Ex-Florida lawmaker leaves Republican Party 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 CornynO'Rourke's rise raises hopes for Texas Dems down ballot Five takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke debate showdown Live coverage: Cruz faces O'Rourke in Texas debate showdown MORE (Texas) and Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDemocrats slide in battle for Senate McConnell and wife confronted by customers at restaurant Pelosi, Schumer: Trump 'desperate' to put focus on immigration, not health care 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 AlexanderOvernight Health Care — Presented by the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs — Senate blocks Dem measure on short-term health plans | Trump signs bill banning drug price 'gag clauses' | DOJ approves Aetna-CVS merger | Juul ramps up lobbying Trump signs bills banning drug pricing 'gag clauses' Senate defeats measure to overturn Trump expansion of non-ObamaCare plans MORE (Tenn.), Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonFlake: Congress should not continue Kavanaugh investigations GOP senator suspects Schumer of being behind release of Ford letter Susan Collins becomes top 2020 target for Dems MORE (Ark.), and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamThe Memo: Trump in a corner on Saudi Arabia Trump should stick to his guns and close failed South Carolina nuclear MOX project CNN's Smerconish: What do Saudis have over American presidents? MORE (S.C.) also gathered around Collins as well.

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