SPONSORED:

GOP confident Collins will back Kavanaugh

Republican senators are confident that Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSenate GOP signal they won't filibuster debate of hate crimes bill Democrats work to pick up GOP support on anti-Asian hate crimes bill Against mounting odds, Biden seeks GOP support for infrastructure plan 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 faces test of power with early endorsements OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Supreme Court declines to hear challenge to Obama marine monument designation | Interior reverses course on tribal ownership of portion of Missouri river | White House climate adviser meets with oil and gas companies Senate GOP pushes back on list of participants in oil and gas leasing forum 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 MurkowskiSenate GOP signal they won't filibuster debate of hate crimes bill Trump digs in on attacks against Republican leaders Nixed Interior nominee appointed to different department role  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 CornynSenate GOP signal they won't filibuster debate of hate crimes bill Application portal for venue grants down for five days with no updates Democrats work to pick up GOP support on anti-Asian hate crimes bill MORE (Texas) and Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell seeks to end feud with Trump Senate GOP signal they won't filibuster debate of hate crimes bill Colin Powell on Afghanistan: 'We've done all we can do' 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 AlexanderSenate GOP faces retirement brain drain The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the National Shooting Sports Foundation - CDC news on gatherings a step toward normality Blunt's retirement deals blow to McConnell inner circle MORE (Tenn.), Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonExclusive: GOP senators seek FBI investigation into Biden Pentagon nominee Nikki Haley says if Trump runs for president in 2024 then she won't Biden picks vocal Trump critics to lead immigration agencies MORE (Ark.), and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGOP lawmaker 'encouraged' by Biden's Afghanistan strategy Biden sparks bipartisan backlash on Afghanistan withdrawal  Graham: 'A full withdrawal from Afghanistan is dumber than dirt and devilishly dangerous' MORE (S.C.) also gathered around Collins as well.

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