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Chuck Schumer Rebuts Kavanaugh Delay Charges

GOP can confirm Kavanaugh if it unites around nominee, minority leader says

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer is pointing out that the GOP controls the Senate calendar. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer is pointing out that the GOP controls the Senate calendar. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer used his opening remarks on the Senate floor Tuesday morning to stress the Democratic caucus lacks the votes to delay confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

The New York Democrat was responding to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has been pinning the fact that Kavanaugh wasn’t confirmed to the Supreme Court before the start of the term on the Democratic minority.

McConnell reiterated his comments from Monday that Kavanaugh would get a Senate floor vote this week.

“Accusing Democrats of needlessly delaying a Supreme Court nomination is galling, is hypocritical, coming from a leader who delayed the nomination of a Supreme Court justice for over 300 days until his party had a chance to win the White House,” Schumer said. “So no one, no American should accept his admonishments about delay. He’s the master of delay.”

Schumer was referring once again to McConnell’s decision to not entertain the nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court during the last year of Barack Obama’s presidency.

“As the leader well knows, Democrats are not in charge. We can’t set the calendar,” Schumer said.

“Who caused this delay, I’d ask Leader McConnell? Not the Democrats. We don’t have the ability to do it,” Schumer said.

“It was three members on his side who sincerely were seeking better truth,” Schumer said, referring to Republicans Susan Collins of Maine, Jeff Flake of Arizona and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who backed a one-week pause to allow FBI agents to re-open the Kavanaugh background check process to conduct interviews about allegations of sexual assault against the nominee.

For his part, McConnell continued to charge Democrats with moving the goal posts, including seeking an expanded FBI review of the Kavanaugh nomination.

“Democrats may be trying to move the goalposts every five minutes — but their goal has not moved an inch. They will not be satisfied unless they have brought down Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination,” McConnell said. “It started with straightforward political maneuvering. None of it worked, of course. But whatever excuses they could find to delay, delay, delay.”

McConnell again seized on the way in which Judiciary Committee Democrats dealt with the original allegations raised by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, saying that it opened the door to what he described Tuesday as, “a deluge of uncorroborated, unbelievable mud. And the mudslide was cheered on, and capitalized on, at every turn, by the far left that has been so eager to stop this nomination.”

McConnell has sounded eager to get the Kavanaugh nomination across the floor this week, meaning the Kentucky Republican might set a vote for as early as Friday to limit debate on the confirmation.

That would again turn attention to the three targeted members of the GOP: Collins, Flake and Murkowski. Particularly if the FBI has not finished its work by then.

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