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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 TrumpBiden to hold virtual bilateral meeting with Mexican president More than 300 charged in connection to Capitol riot Trump Jr.: There are 'plenty' of GOP incumbents who should be challenged MORE’s eventual Supreme Court nominee.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump at CPAC foments 2022 GOP primary wars Hawley gets boisterous ovation at CPAC for Electoral College objection   Why Congress must invoke the 14th Amendment now 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 Defense: Biden sends message with Syria airstrike | US intel points to Saudi crown prince in Khashoggi killing | Pentagon launches civilian-led sexual assault commission Graham: Trump will 'be helpful' to all Senate GOP incumbents John Boehner tells Cruz to 'go f--- yourself' in unscripted audiobook asides: report 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 CollinsMedia circles wagons for conspiracy theorist Neera Tanden Why the 'Never-Trumpers' flopped Republicans see Becerra as next target in confirmation wars MORE (Maine) and Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiGraham: Trump will 'be helpful' to all Senate GOP incumbents The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by The AIDS Institute - Senate ref axes minimum wage, House votes today on relief bill Republicans see Becerra as next target in confirmation wars MORE (Alaska) — have said they oppose confirming a justice so close to a presidential election. Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyTrump at CPAC foments 2022 GOP primary wars Democrats scramble to rescue minimum wage hike Media circles wagons for conspiracy theorist Neera Tanden 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 GinsburgMcConnell backs Garland for attorney general A powerful tool to take on the Supreme Court — if Democrats use it right Fauci says he was nervous about catching COVID-19 in Trump White House 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.