The Senate GOP leaders on Tuesday said they would not allow a vote on Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters he will hold a vote to allow the Senate to consider his nomination in the coming weeks.
If the Senate votes on Kavanaugh, the vote will be on a procedural measure known as “conscience clause,” and McConnell said the GOP would not block a vote if it happens to pass.
If Kavanaugh does not get confirmed, it will be up to the full Senate to decide whether to hold a floor vote on the nomination, McConnell said.
“I think it is going to be up, and I think the Democrats are going to try and get it to that floor,” McConnell said, speaking on Capitol Hill ahead of a Senate vote on his nomination.
“If that happens, we’re going to have to go ahead and do it.”
The White House on Tuesday issued a statement condemning Senate Republicans for delaying the vote and saying it will not change the Senate’s decision on Kavanaugh.
“Democrats have repeatedly threatened to filibuster any confirmation vote that fails to reach the 60-vote threshold to avoid having to consider a Supreme Court nominee in the next few months,” the White House said in the statement.
“They have failed to explain how they plan to avoid filibustering this nomination.
Democrats have repeatedly said that they will not allow Republicans to block this nomination, and now they have finally conceded defeat.”
Republicans on Tuesday evening rejected a letter from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D) that would have given Democrats a way to block a confirmation vote.
Schumer and Durbins said in a letter Tuesday that the move was not a vote against Kavanaugh but an effort to protect the integrity of the Senate process.
“Today, Democrats have used the power of the filibuster to prevent the Senate from doing its job,” Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D, Mass.) wrote in a statement Tuesday evening.
“We will not accept any more of this.”
Democrats have previously accused Republicans of trying to delay the vote by tying it to a nomination that was in the works.
Republicans on Monday night said they could not support the nomination without the backing of Senate Republicans.
The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled a hearing for Tuesday on Kavanaugh’s confirmation, and Republicans are expected to demand a vote for him.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.