McConnell Pushes Ahead on Kavanaugh Supreme Court Nomination After FBI Submits Report

Mimi Nguyen Ly
By Mimi Nguyen Ly
October 4, 2018Politics

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R. Ky) filed for cloture on Oct. 3, seeking to resolve the filibuster and bring in the final vote on President Trump’s nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination by Oct. 6.

McConnell filed the motion for cloture shortly before 10 p.m.

“I just filed cloture on Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court. There will be plenty of time for Members to review and be briefed on this supplemental material before a Friday cloture vote,” McConnell wrote on Twitter. The motion required the support of at least 16 senators.

If passed, a cloture motion is how the Senate can break a filibuster or delay in Senate action by limiting further debate on pending matters to 30 hours.

McConnell’s cloture filing on Oct. 3 means that the Senate can vote early Friday, Oct. 5, to decide whether the clock will start on the vote regarding Kavanaugh’s nomination on the Senate floor.

If 51 senators vote in the motion’s favor, debate on Kavanaugh’s nomination would be shorted, and the final vote on his confirmation would come late Oct. 6.

FBI Supplemental Report Ready

Senate Republicans agreed on Sept. 28 to delay the vote on Kavanaugh for one week pending an FBI investigation into high school sexual assault allegations brought forth by a female accuser, Professor Christine Blasey Ford. Kavanaugh had denied the allegations.

President Trump ordered the FBI to conclude its work by Oct. 5. The FBI completed its investigation ahead of time and McConnell said the Senate would receive the FBI’s supplemental report on the night of Oct. 3 for review on Oct. 4, according to The Washington Post.

Soon after McConnell’s remarks on cloture, President Trump wrote to Twitter speaking of the energy and enthusiasm for Kavanaugh.

“Wow, such enthusiasm and energy for Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Look at the Energy, look at the Polls. Something very big is happening. He is a fine man and great intellect. The country is with him all the way!” Trump wrote.

Deadline Looming

McConnell had emphasised earlier in the week that the floor vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination would be carried through by the week’s end.

“I expect we’ll hear that the conclusions of the expert prosecutor who question both witnesses at last week’s hearing, aren’t reliable. Or that the FBI’s investigation was not infinite or endless enough for their liking. Maybe we’ll hear the real issue is not these uncorroborated allegations of misconduct after all. But rather the fact that Judge Kavanaugh—now listen to this—drank beer in high school and in college, or the fact that he was rightfully angry,” McConnell said on Oct. 1.

“Many mainstream media outlets and pundits have been focusing on Kavanaugh’s drinking habits. The judge admitted in testimony he drank beer, sometimes too much, but insisted he never blacked out, or experienced loss of memory.

“Who wouldn’t be, that his good name and his family have been dragged through the mud with a campaign of character assassination based on allegations that lack any corroboration? Who wouldn’t be angry about that Mr. President? Their goal post keeps shifting. But their goal hasn’t moved an inch, not an inch. The goal has been the same all along.

“And so let me make it very clear: the time for endless delay and obstruction has come to a close. Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination is out of committee. We’re considering it here on the floor. And Mr. President we’ll be voting this week.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said that the one-week limit was fine, but “everyone is asking it be done thoroughly and completely within that week.”

Zachary Stieber contributed to this report

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