McConnell has subtly tweaked his language on the Kavanaugh nomination. He’s no longer vowing to “plow right through” and confirm Kavanaugh, as he was just last week, crafting his message instead to appeal to the three Republicans who remain on the fence.
The Kentucky Republican is currently planning a move to end debate on the nomination by midweek, forcing a critical procedural vote as early as Friday, which would set up a final vote on Kavanaugh by Sunday. But that timetable means the FBI investigation must be complete by Wednesday, and that’s where the situation becomes dicey for McConnell.
If the FBI doesn’t meet that Wednesday deadline, McConnell and Senate GOP leaders are likely to wait until the FBI report arrives before moving to end debate and starting the countdown clock on Kavanaugh, if only to avoid alienating the Collins-Murkowski-Flake group, according to GOP senators. That could delay the confirmation since Democrats are likely to use their procedural leverage to string out any Kavanaugh vote as long as they can.