[Ed. – Updates at bottom.]
The U.S. Senate has just voted 51-49 to close debate on the Kavanaugh nomination and advance to a floor vote.
Earlier in the week, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) indicated the floor vote would occur on Saturday, assuming the cloture vote advanced the nomination today.
Republican Senator Steve Daines of Montana was doing the news circuit Thursday night due to a long-planned scheduling conflict with the all-important vote on Saturday: his daughter’s wedding. He says today that his goal is to do both: attend the Kavanaugh vote, and walk his daughter down the aisle.
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You can imagine the opinions being expressed on social media. And for now, we’ll leave that to your imagination.
The countdown to the confirmation vote is a developing story. This post will be marked as updated if/when we need to add new information.
*UPDATE* Wanted to confirm my audio impression of the tally before posting this. Indeed, Lisa Murkowski voted against cloture this morning. That keeps the final vote in doubt. Susan Collins and Jeff Flake voted for cloture. McConnell got to 51 votes with Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia.
Manchin’s office phone must have been ringing nonstop for days. This one is certainly down to the wire. I’m not sure what’s going on with Murkowski. It’s so obviously not about “believing the women” at this point. – J.E.
Well, this is good news. Hope they have snacks and water. Nature’s call may get a little dicey.
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Planned Parenthood weighs in.
— Planned Parenthood Action (@PPact) October 4, 2018
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3:51 PM EDT:
JEFF FLAKE AND SUSAN COLLINS both announce they will vote FOR confirmation on Saturday.
That gets the vote to 50, which Pence can break to 51.
The wild rumpus in and around the Hill will probably get wilder in the next few hours. But in terms of the vote, barring the unforeseen, it’s set.
JOE MANCHIN now on board, seconds after Collins finished her (very) extended announcement. The vote seems to stand at 51, and Daines of Montana might even not need to make it back from his daughter’s wedding.