Senators Reach Deal to Delay Kavanaugh Floor Vote That Includes FBI Investigation

GOP leaders had little choice with key swing votes opposed to moving nomination otherwise

The Senate will delay a vote on the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh for up to a week. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Senators have reached an agreement to delay a planned floor vote on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and allow for an FBI investigation of allegations of sexual misconduct against him for up to one week. 

Emerging from a meeting of Republicans in the office of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Majority Leader Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said the next order of business will be a motion to proceed to the nomination on Saturday at noon, which could be either a voice vote or roll call vote. 

“The supplemental FBI background investigation would be limited to current credible allegations against the nominee and must be completed no later than one week from today,” the Senate Judiciary Committee said in a statement. 

The agreement came after Kavanaugh’s nomination was approved in the Senate Judiciary Committee on an 11-10 vote, but with Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., insisting that he would not be comfortable with moving forward on the floor until another investigation had concluded. He was joined by Sens. Lisa Murkowksi, R-Alaska, and Joe Manchin III, D-W.Va., key swing votes on the nomination.

The ensuing math gave GOP leaders little choice but to agree to a delay until another background check could be completed. 

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