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We’re one step closer to saying “Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh”!
Mitch McConnell just filed the important cloture motion, which will end the investigation and send things to an official senate vote!
Take a look:
Here's more on the breaking story, from Vox:
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell emphasized on Tuesday that there would be a floor vote on Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination this week. On Wednesday night, he took a key step that’s needed to make sure that happens.
Shortly after the FBI sent a report to the White House detailing findings from its review of sexual misconduct allegations against Kavanaugh, McConnell filed a motion to invoke “cloture” on Kavanaugh’s nomination. That simply means that McConnell has now set up an important procedural vote to take place on Friday. McConnell also indicated that the Senate had not yet received the report though he said the body was expected to get it late Wednesday.
Filing a “cloture” motion is a procedural move that requires the signatures of at least 16 Senators. If it passes in a floor vote, the motion limits the debate on a bill or nomination to just 30 hours. The Senate is only able to vote on a “cloture” motion two days after it has been filed. By filing it on Wednesday evening, McConnell has ensured that the full Senate will be able to take that first procedural vote on Friday.
When the Friday vote takes place, if 51 senators vote in favor of passing it, the upper chamber will curb debate on Kavanaugh’s nomination. In case there’s a tie, Vice President Mike Pence is also able to step in and break it. Once those 30 hours of debate are up, the Senate will move to a final vote on his confirmation, likely on Saturday evening.
That Friday vote could be an indicator of how the final vote might go since the same number of senators are required to pass it — but a set of key swing senators may ultimately vote to proceed to the final vote even if they haven’t yet made up their mind.
McConnell had promised Jeff Flake and other pivotal Republicans that he wouldn’t hold a cloture vote until the FBI report had been completed, something he appears to have followed through on.
Now, all eyes turn to how a group of undecided Senators will vote — first on cloture, and then possibly, on Kavanaugh.
What to watch next
The next immediate step in the Senate will be Friday’s cloture vote. While it is a procedural step, it’s important to think of it as a signal of how serious swing votes are in their readiness to take a final vote.
If the three moderate Republicans — Flake (AZ), Susan Collins (ME) and Lisa Murkowski (AK) — all vote down the cloture motion, for example, that could indicate that Kavanaugh’s nomination is effectively dead in the water. It could also mean that they’d like to see debate continue for a bit longer.
In another scenario, it’s also possible that the trio — along with other closely-watched Senators like Democrats Joe Manchin and Heidi Heitkamp — end up voting in favor of the cloture motion, but announce that they are still “undecided” on Kavanaugh’s actual nomination.
In the latter case, if a cloture vote happens and passes on Friday morning, Senators will have until roughly Saturday evening to make up their minds. It would basically mean another 30 hours of back-and-forth and will-they-won’t-they speculation.