UPDATE: We're Clear: We Have The Votes; UPDATE: Manchin To Back Kavanaugh

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Posted: Oct 05, 2018 1:03 PM
UPDATE: We're Clear: We Have The Votes; UPDATE: Manchin To Back Kavanaugh

UPDATE: Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) announces she will be voting to confirm Kavanaugh. With Manchin voting to confirm, that's the ball game.

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Well, unless something big happens, it looks like Judge Brett Kavanaugh will be the next Associate Justice for the U.S. Supreme Court. The cloture vote, which was covered on our live blog, ended in success. It was a 51-49 vote. Now, 30 hours of speeches from both sides have begun. Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) caused a bit of a heart attack when he said he would be out of D.C. for the weekend; his daughter is getting married on Saturday. He will walk her down the aisle but said transportation arrangements had been made. Daines became an accidental key vote due to his absence. This means the vote will remain open for a long time. Saturday could be a very long day, folks.

And it seems that barring any cataclysmic news changes, the votes for today’s cloture vote will remain the same for the final vote—which means we have the votes. Out of the wild cards, Sens. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Susan Collins (R-ME), Joe Manchin (D-WV), and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Murkowski was the only “no” vote on cloture from this crew. Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), who has a history of being a vote whip, said that he doesn’t expect Murkowski or Manchin to change their votes. 

He might have been a pain in this fight. He sided with Democrats in their push for another FBI investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against Judge Brett Kavanaugh. He was undecided for the longest time, but he voted for cloture today. As the 30 hours of debate counts down, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) has made a decision: he’s voting yes.  

It also seems Murkowski was probably a “yea” vote, but she changed her mind prior to entering the chamber.  

So, are we in the clear? Well, we had the votes last Friday, according to a Senate insider who spoke with us, and then Flake decided to gum up the works by accommodating Democrats on their FBI request. When all sides agreed to the FBI investigation and the report was delivered, by no one’s surprise, Democrats dismissed the report. The delay tactics are over. The vote is happening, and again, barring any earth-shattering news, or Democrats getting their hands on Flake again, Kavanaugh looks likely to be seated on the Court.  

This whole process was thrust into chaos when three women came forward with sexual misconduct allegations. All three claims are without evidence or corroborating witnesses, but the Left took their kill shot anyway. It wounded the nominee, his family, and his reputation. The damage done to Kavanaugh from this character assassination attempt will be long-lasting, but it seems the worst is over. He will likely be confirmed until all hours on Saturday. We’ll be here covering. In the meantime, it might be best for Republican leadership to hide Jeff Flake. Take him outside of D.C. for a few hours; take his cell phone away, and just hide him away from Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) and the rest of the Democratic Party on the Hill. Maybe toss Collins and Manchin—they’re about to get blitzed as well.

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UPDATE: As of now, Collins is a no vote, according to a Senate insider. There is time to change her vote, but prospects aren't good.