Mitch McConnell says the Senate will vote 'this week' on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh

Key Points
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says the full Senate will vote on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation "this week."
  • On Friday, Senate GOP leaders agreed to delay the vote for up to a week while the FBI conducts a background check into sexual misconduct accusations against Kavanaugh. 
  • Republicans are moving quickly to confirm the appeals judge before November's midterm elections. 
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., leaves the Senate Republicans' policy lunch to address reporters in the Capitol on Tuesday, July 17, 2018.
Bill Clark | CQ-Roll Call Group | Getty Images

The full Senate will vote on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation "this week," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday.

On Friday, Senate Republican leaders agreed to delay the vote up to one week while the FBI opened up a supplementary background check on the federal appeals judge. He faces multiple accusations of sexual misconduct, including an allegation that he assaulted college professor Christine Blasey Ford at a gathering when they were both in high school in 1982. Kavanaugh has denied all accusations.

On Monday, McConnell contended that Democrats have tried to hold off Kavanaugh's confirmation for as long as they can. Republicans have moved quickly in their push to confirm Kavanaugh before they could potentially lose Senate control in November's midterm elections.

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"The goalpost keeps shifting, but the goal hasn't moved an inch. Not an inch," McConnell said on the Senate floor Monday. "Let me make it very clear. The time for endless delay and obstruction has come to a close. Judge Kavanaugh's confirmation is out of committee. We're considering it here on the floor. ... We'll be voting on it this week."

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted to move Kavanaugh's confirmation to the Senate floor on Friday. The panel advanced the judge's nomination even as Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., joined with Democratic colleagues to force Senate leaders to delay the final vote.

Flake said he would vote to confirm Kavanaugh on Friday, but he has suggested the findings of the FBI investigation could make him change his mind. Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine and Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota remain undecided.

Four of those five senators would have to vote against Kavanaugh to sink his nomination.

Deborah Ramirez, the woman who says Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a party when they both attended Yale, reportedly spoke to the FBI over the weekend. Patrick Smyth, who Ford says attended the gathering where she was assaulted, said through his lawyer that he talked to the FBI and denied knowledge of the gathering or the alleged incident.

On Monday, the White House also released statements from two men — Dan Murphy and former NBA player Chris Dudley — who lived with or knew Kavanaugh in college. Both men said they did not see Kavanaugh drink to the point of blacking out or act inappropriately or aggressively toward women.

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