Senate Formally Begins Consideration of Kavanaugh Nomination, Pending FBI Investigation

GOP leaders also set up consideration of FAA measure for next week

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., on Friday formally set in motion floor consideration of the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., on Friday formally set in motion floor consideration of the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)
Posted September 28, 2018 at 6:46pm

On the Senate floor Friday, and after a lengthy set of negotiations over next steps, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., began the formal process of considering the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh.

“We will shortly move to proceed to the Kavanaugh nomination,” McConnell said. “100 percent of the Republican Conference supports proceeding to the Kavanaugh nomination.”

“The full Senate will begin considering Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination today,” he said on Friday, although the procedural motion he referred to was simply to formally begin consideration while the chamber awaits for the FBI to conclude a “supplemental” investigation of sexual assault allegations against the nominee. 

On Friday, after the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 11-10 to advance Kavanaugh’s nomination and after Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., helped broker a deal to delay a floor vote until the FBI had time to conduct its probe, President Donald Trump directed the bureau to proceed with the investigation, which was to conclude by Oct. 5. 

“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 Senate agreed by voice vote to make the nomination the pending business, meaning there will be no need for a weekend session.

Before the Senate turned to the Kavanaugh nomination, McConnell filed a cloture motion to limit debate on a House-Senate agreement on reauthorizing the Federal Aviation Administration, putting that legislation ahead of the judge in line for the floor schedule.