BILLINGS- U.S. Sen. Steve Daines said Thursday that he will attend his daughter’s wedding in Montana Saturday, even though a key vote to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court is scheduled that same day.
“Two things are going to happen this weekend. We’re going to get a new Supreme Court Justice and I’m going to walk my daughter down the aisle,” Daines, a Montana Republican, said in a statement to Q2 News.
Republicans could potentially be in a bind to confirm Kavanaugh if Daines is a no-show. With a 51-49 majority, the GOP can only afford to lose one vote, assuming all Democrats vote no. Vice President Mike Pence would cast the deciding vote in the case of a tie.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Thursday that a key vote known as cloture would be held Friday. This vote creates a 30-hour window for debate and places the final vote likely some time Saturday.
CNN is reporting that Senate Republican leadership has been aware of the conflict for a few days and decided to schedule the vote anyway. The Senate could hold the vote open through the beginning of next week to accommodate Daines, according to CNN.
Daines’ office did not say what time the wedding would take place, though Daines could theoretically fly to Washington, D.C., and make a late vote Saturday.
A Washington Post reporter tweeted that Daines had told her he would vote Friday and fly home right away.
Chatted with @SteveDaines tonight, who is very excited for his daughter's wedding. He'll be here for cloture vote tomorrow then will fly home. If he is needed for confirmation vote — currently skedded for Saturday — the vote could be held open for a loooooong time
— Seung Min Kim (@seungminkim) October 5, 2018
The president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., said on Twitter that he’s not worried about Daines’ vote.
.@SteveDaines is a good friend and hunting/fishing buddy and as far as his vote this weekend is concerned he tells me he has it covered.
Coming from this man you can take that to the bank!
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) October 5, 2018
Three key Republican moderates, Jeff Flake of Arizona, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine, have not said how they will vote on Kavanaugh, whose nomination has come under controversy following allegations of sexual assault from decades ago.
The FBI released completed its investigation into those allegations Thursday and is allowing senators to see the final report, one by one, in a locked room.
Daines said in a statement that he was briefed and has “read the FBI supplemental background file” and believes there is no evidence to corroborate the allegations of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who says Kavanaugh attacked her more than 30 years ago when both were in high school.