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Senate Republicans Poised To Advance Barrett's Nomination To The Supreme Court

The U.S. Senate voted Sunday afternoon to end debate on the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, setting the stage for a final confirmation vote Monday evening — just over a week before the general election.

In a floor vote mostly along party lines, 51 Republicans advanced Barrett, who's President Trump's nominee to fill the seat of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Following the cloture vote, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., proclaimed that "by tomorrow night, we'll have a new member of the United States Supreme Court."

McConnell added: "A lot of what we've done over the last four years will be undone sooner or later by the next election. They won't be able to do much about this for a long time to come."

The only Republicans voting against the cloture motion were Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

On Saturday, Murkowski said that while she planned to vote against moving the nomination forward procedurally, she would vote to confirm Barrett.

"While I oppose the process that led us to this point, I do not hold it against her, as an individual who has navigated the gauntlet with grace, skill and humility," she said.

Collins, who faces a tough reelection battle, said in September, just after Ginsburg's death, that whoever wins the presidential election should fill the vacancy.

Forty-six Democrats opposed the motion. California Sen. Kamala Harris, the Democratic vice presidential nominee, was on the campaign trail Sunday.

Vice President Pence indicated during a campaign event in Tallahassee on Saturday that he would return to Capitol Hill on Monday for the Senate confirmation vote.

"As vice president I'm president of the Senate. And I'm gonna be in the chair because I wouldn't miss that vote for the world," Pence said.

Democrats have pushed back against Pence's plan in light of recent positive coronavirus testing of two top staffers in Pence's orbit.

Democrats have also lambasted Trump and Republicans for moving forward with Barrett's nomination so close to the election, especially when the Republican-led Senate in 2016 refused to hold hearings for then-President Barack Obama's nominee, Merrick Garland, nearly eight months before that year's election.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Barbara Sprunt is a producer on NPR's Washington desk, where she reports and produces breaking news and feature political content. She formerly produced the NPR Politics Podcast and got her start in radio at as an intern on NPR's Weekend All Things Considered and Tell Me More with Michel Martin. She is an alumnus of the Paul Miller Reporting Fellowship at the National Press Foundation. She is a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., and a Pennsylvania native.