WASHINGTON — Two more senators — one Republican and one Democrat — said Friday afternoon that they will vote for Judge Brett Kavanaugh — all but assuring his confirmation to the Supreme Court.
In an eagerly anticipated speech on the Senate floor, Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine said she will vote to confirm President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court choice.
“Mr. President, I will vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh,” Collins (R-Me.) said at the end of her speech, which lasted about 45 minutes.
Shortly after Collins’ speech, Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia told reporters that he will cross the aisle and also vote for Kavanaugh. The other Democrats have said they will vote against Kavanaugh, as will the two Independent senators.
The announcements by Collins and Manchin mean Kavanaugh has more than enough votes to be confirmed.
Manchin is up for re-election next month and was under considerable pressure to support Kavanaugh. Trump won West Virginia by 42 points in 2016.
Earlier Friday, GOP Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona said he would support Kavanaugh’s nomination. The Senate Judiciary Committee committee, had called for a one-week investigation by the FBI of allegations of sexual assault. Flake had made that a condition for his vote to move the nomination out of committee to the full Senate.
Now 50 of 51 Senate Republicans have said they will support the nominee.
Alaska GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski has signaled she will oppose Kavanaugh.
A final vote is expected late Saturday afternoon.
Allegations of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh have been the focus of the confirmation process since mid-September. Kavanaugh has denied the allegations.