Just before 10pm on the East Coast, a surprise appearance by Mitch McConnell on the floor of the Senate graced many a television screen.
Around the nation, the American people have sat in suspense, frozen in time waiting for closure in the case of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. It has been harrowing at times, riveting at others. In the process we’ve run the gamut of emotions from guilt to disbelief. Now, we find ourselves at a major crossroads in the Washington protocol.
The FBI investigation into claims of sexual impropriety by Brett Kavanaugh is apparently over, with the subsequent reports set for release to the Senate Judiciary Committee at 8am Thursday morning. On the heels of this news, Mitch McConnell sauntered out onto a lonely Senate floor to deliver the gut punch that that democrats were hoping to avoid.
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.
We will have on more day of pontification on Capitol Hill tomorrow, then a procedural vote on Friday. Should that Friday vote move Kavanaugh’s confirmation ahead, a final vote could be held Saturday.