Susan Collins: Maine Senator announces Kavanaugh confirmation vote today


Republicans hold a razor-thin 51-49 majority in the Senate, and can only afford to lose one vote if Democrats vote unanimously against Kavanaugh on Saturday. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz), Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska).

Conway argued that Manchin is from "a state where the vast majority of the people who voted him into office have said they also want Judge Kavanaugh confirmed to the Supreme Court". Exactly one month from elections in which House and Senate control are in play, Democrats tried making sure that female voters were paying attention.

The vote, which took place at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, was not on whether to confirm Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

"But Democrats had pointed to not only the sexual assault allegations, which they described" but also questions about Kavanaugh's temperament during the hearing last week and whether he had lied about his drinking during high school and college, and what certain references in his high school yearbook meant.

"I believe Brett Kavanaugh is a good man", Murkowski told reporters, but she said he is "not the right man for the Court".

Heitkamp said she was troubled by Kavanaugh's aggressive appearance before the Senate Judiciary committee and the message his confirmation would send to women and girls across the country.

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Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, who oversaw Mr Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings, said: "As of now I don't really know and I don't know if anybody else does".

Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty ImagesBrett Kavanaugh testified in front of the Senate Judiciary committee over sexual assault allegations made against him.

"This is what I have been wrestling with, and so I made the - took the very hard vote that I did", she said. Kavanaugh could still win confirmation if Murkowski is the only Republican to oppose him.

Montana Republican Sen. Steve Daines is due to walk his daughter down the aisle at her wedding on Saturday, a scheduling conflict that could affect his vote.

"Several of my friends who are undecided have not returned my calls in the last day and that typically is a way a senator tells you they're busy deciding", Coons said. He was slated to fly to NY for three fundraisers.

Senators voted 51-49 to limit debate, defeating Democratic efforts to scuttle the nomination with endless delays. Joe Manchin gave Kavanaugh his blessing.

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Kavanaugh's expected two-vote victory in itself underscored how unusually divisive his nomination fight has been.

Of the four lawmakers who had not revealed their decisions until Friday, Republican Sens. Kavanaugh could provide the decisive vote to roll back abortion rights, outlaw affirmative action programs and slash environmental regulations.

Even before they voted no Friday morning, Democratic senators like Delaware's Chris Coons, who struck a deal with Flake last week that spawned the Federal Bureau of Investigation probe, said the matter had become bigger than just whether to put Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court.

Yet Kavanaugh's path to confirmation seemed unfettered until Ford and two other women emerged with sexual misconduct allegations from the 1980s.

Kavanaugh's former schoolmate Dr Christine Blasey Ford pictured during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing last Thursday. That reflected Democrats' lasting umbrage over Republicans' 2016 refusal to even consider Merrick Garland, President Obama's nominee to replace the late Antonin Scalia.

"I would agree that the materials that I read did not provide direct corroboration, but there were a dozen, two dozen other witnesses who were not interviewed", Coons said. They said he also seemed ready to rule for Trump if federal authorities probing his 2016 campaign's alleged connections to Russian Federation try to pursue him in court.

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