McConnell sets up key Kavanaugh vote

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) took a key step to advance Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court.

Posted: Oct 4, 2018 7:13 PM
Updated: Oct 4, 2018 7:42 PM

The Senate could decide Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's fate as soon as this weekend.

Lawmakers are currently on track to take a key procedural vote on Friday, which could be a make-or-break moment for the nomination, with a final confirmation vote possible on Saturday.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell set the process in motion last night by filing cloture on the nomination, but the exact timing of votes may hinge on what happens over the next 24 or so hours as Republicans and Democrats review the findings of an FBI investigation into allegations against the nominee.

It's not yet clear if Kavanaugh has the votes needed for confirmation, but Senate Republicans expressed confidence on Thursday that the FBI did not uncover any damaging information as they pressed ahead to a vote.

"None of the allegations have been corroborated .. not in the new FBI investigation, not anywhere," McConnell said on the Senate floor Thursday, adding, "I'll be proud to vote to advance this nomination tomorrow."

Five key senators -- Republicans Jeff Flake of Arizona, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine and Democrats Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota -- have not yet indicated how they will vote on the nomination and have said they were awaiting the results of the FBI inquiry before making up their minds. Some or all of those senators could announce how they plan to vote Thursday or they may wait until Friday's initial vote to show their hand.

Senate Republicans only need a simple majority -- or 50 votes if all 100 senators vote and Vice President Mike Pence breaks a tie -- to successfully clear the procedural hurdle set up by Friday's initial vote and move forward to a final vote.

The final confirmation vote must meet the same threshold to be successful after the GOP invoked the so-called "nuclear option" to allow for a simple majority vote to break filibusters on a Supreme Court nominee rather than the standard 60-vote threshold. That move helped Republicans confirm Justice Neil Gorsuch and marked another step in a years-long partisan fight over judicial confirmation rules.

If Republicans have enough votes during Friday's initial vote to move forward to a final confirmation vote on Saturday that may mean enough votes are locked in to confirm Kavanaugh. As a result, Friday's vote will be viewed as a critical test of whether the nomination can succeed.

Still, there could be uncertainty over the final outcome until the very last minute.

Even if the Senate clears Friday's procedural hurdle, it doesn't necessarily mean Kavanaugh will win confirmation since a senator could vote to move forward, but ultimately decide not to support the nomination during the final vote.

Whatever happens, it looks like the contentious battle over Kavanaugh's nomination will soon be over, even as Democrats continue to protest the way Senate Republicans handled the confirmation proceedings and the investigation into allegations against the nominee.

The FBI began its investigation into allegations facing Kavanaugh last week after Flake called for the inquiry with the backing of Collins and Murkowski. Lawmakers are now reviewing the findings of the inquiry.

Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, reaffirmed his support for Kavanaugh on Thursday after reviewing the results of the investigation and called for the Senate to vote.

"I've now received a committee staff briefing on the FBI's supplement to Judge Kavanaugh's background investigation file. There's nothing in it that we didn't already know," he said, adding: "It's time to vote."

West Lafayette
Overcast
58° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 58°
Kokomo
Overcast
55° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 55°
Rensselaer
Overcast
55° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 55°
Fowler
Overcast
55° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 55°
Williamsport
Overcast
58° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 58°
Crawfordsville
Overcast
53° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 53°
Frankfort
Overcast
57° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 57°
Delphi
Overcast
55° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 55°
Monticello
Overcast
55° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 55°
Logansport
Overcast
54° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 54°
Cooler weather is settling in.....
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 117450

Reported Deaths: 3580
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion21403766
Lake10618323
Elkhart6667111
St. Joseph6576110
Allen6292203
Hamilton4909109
Vanderburgh371931
Hendricks2747123
Monroe262736
Tippecanoe252313
Johnson2338124
Clark223657
Porter217647
Delaware198562
Cass19549
Vigo184327
Madison168975
LaPorte147441
Floyd138963
Warrick134440
Howard131863
Kosciusko124817
Bartholomew117957
Marshall101224
Dubois99119
Boone98646
Grant93334
Hancock93243
Noble92532
Henry80926
Jackson7689
Wayne76814
Morgan72938
Daviess67728
Shelby67729
Dearborn66528
LaGrange63911
Clinton60914
Harrison58724
Putnam58112
Gibson5305
Knox5259
Lawrence51529
Montgomery51121
DeKalb48711
White48614
Decatur45839
Miami4383
Greene42735
Fayette42313
Jasper3992
Steuben3877
Scott38111
Posey3400
Sullivan33812
Jennings31612
Franklin31125
Ripley3038
Clay3025
Orange28824
Whitley2796
Carroll27713
Adams2743
Wabash2718
Washington2691
Starke2677
Wells2654
Spencer2593
Jefferson2483
Huntington2453
Fulton2412
Tipton22822
Perry22113
Randolph2207
Jay1880
Newton17311
Owen1711
Martin1680
Pike1621
Rush1574
Vermillion1300
Fountain1282
Blackford1203
Pulaski1131
Crawford1080
Brown1043
Parke1032
Benton870
Ohio797
Union790
Switzerland690
Warren401
Unassigned0226

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events