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Senate GOP aims to confirm Trump court pick by Oct. 29: report

Senate GOP aims to confirm Trump court pick by Oct. 29: report
© Greg Nash

Senate Republicans are eyeing a confirmation vote in late October for President TrumpDonald TrumpChinese apps could face subpoenas, bans under Biden executive order: report Kim says North Korea needs to be 'prepared' for 'confrontation' with US Ex-Colorado GOP chair accused of stealing more than 0K from pro-Trump PAC MORE’s eventual Supreme Court nominee.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell shoots down Manchin's voting compromise Environmental groups urge congressional leaders to leave climate provisions in infrastructure package Loeffler meets with McConnell amid speculation of another Senate run MORE (R-Ky.) has not made any scheduling announcements since saying last week that he would work to confirm a potential pick from the White House, but a Senate aide told The Associated Press that confirmation hearings in the Senate Judiciary Committee could begin on Oct. 12, followed by a possible floor vote on Oct. 29.

The Washington Post later reported that hearings could start on Oct. 12 and that a confirmation vote cold be held before the end of the month.

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A spokesperson for McConnell declined to comment on a possible Oct. 29 vote and instead pointed to remarks the GOP leader made earlier Tuesday that plans for a hearing are still being crafted.

“As we all know, the president is going to be sending up a nominee for the Supreme Court vacancy later this week. I anticipate, we all anticipate, it's going to be an extremely well-qualified woman, and with regard to the schedule, after that announcement, Chairman Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamOVERNIGHT ENERGY:  EPA announces new clean air advisors after firing Trump appointees |  Senate confirms Biden pick for No. 2 role at Interior | Watchdog: Bureau of Land Management saw messaging failures, understaffing during pandemic Graham, Whitehouse: Global transition to renewables would help national security Hillicon Valley: Senate unanimously confirms Chris Inglis as first White House cyber czar | Scrutiny mounts on Microsoft's surveillance technology | Senators unveil bill to crack down on cyber criminals MORE [R-S.C.] will lay out the plan for handling the nomination before the Judiciary Committee,” McConnell said. 

Spokespeople for Graham said there were no new scheduling announcements for a possible confirmation hearing.

The report comes as McConnell appears to have locked down the votes he needs to ensure there is enough GOP support to confirm Trump's nominee. Only two Republican senators — Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSenate confirms Radhika Fox to lead EPA's water office Pelosi says she's giving Senate more time on Jan. 6 commission Overnight Energy: Schumer to trigger reconciliation process Wednesday | Bipartisan bill would ban 'forever chemicals' in cosmetics | Biden admin eyes step toward Trump-era proposal for uranium reserve MORE (Maine) and Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiSenate confirms Radhika Fox to lead EPA's water office Democrat presses Haaland on oil and gas review Hundreds in West Virginia protest Manchin's opposition to voting rights legislation MORE (Alaska) — have said they oppose confirming a justice so close to a presidential election. Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyThe Hill's Morning Report - After high-stakes Biden-Putin summit, what now? China's genocide must be stopped How Biden can get the infrastructure bill through Congress MORE (R-Utah), the last of the remaining possible swing votes, confirmed Tuesday he would be open to sending a new jurist to the high court.

Should the rest of the GOP caucus hold together, McConnell will have 51 votes to confirm a nominee.

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“I guess we have all the votes we’re going to need,” Trump told WJBX Fox 2 in Detroit. “I think it’s going to happen.”

The president said Tuesday that he intends to name his pick on Saturday. He is known to be considering an array of candidates, but the top two contenders are believed to be Amy Coney Barrett and Barbara Lagoa, both appeals court judges.

An Oct. 29 vote on a Supreme Court justice would bring what is expected to be a fierce partisan fight to a head just days before final votes are cast on Nov. 3. Both Republicans and Democrats are confident the fight to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader GinsburgRuth Bader GinsburgOcasio-Cortez says Breyer should retire from Supreme Court Progressives want to tighten screws beyond Manchin and Sinema Juan Williams: Time for Justice Breyer to go MORE, who had been lionized by liberals for her stances on gender equity and abortion access, will fire up both their bases.

Democrats have panned Republicans after the Senate GOP blocked former President Obama from filling a Supreme Court vacancy in 2016, the last presidential election year.