Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell isn't budging on his refusal to take up a Supreme Court nominee this year, he told reporters Tuesday.
McConnell, speaking hours after nominee Merrick Garland met with Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, said that while a few GOP lawmakers are calling for hearings or even a vote, it's not going to happen.
"I think it's safe to say there will not be hearings or votes," McConnell said. "I think it's also safe to say the next president, whoever that may be, is going to be the person who chooses the next supreme court justice."
Collins told the Washington Examiner she had "a very useful" meeting with Garland, and said after he left her office that she believes "the process should proceed" on his nomination.
Collins is among a number of GOP senators who said they will at least meet with Garland, although many say it is unlikely to sway them to call for a confirmation vote.
McConnell announced shortly after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February that he would not hold a vote on nominee to replace him and wanted instead to wait until a new president is elected.
Democrats have been pounding Republicans on the issue and have been placing particularly heavy pressure on Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, who said he will not hold confirmation hearings.
But in recent days, Republicans have mostly dug in on their position, in part because they face pressure from their conservative base to prevent an Obama nominee from moving forward.
Sens. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Jerry Moran, R-Kan., who initially said they supported holding hearings, are now declaring they do not want them.
"The situation when we broke for the recess two weeks ago was that there were 52 senators who didn't think we needed either hearings or a vote in committee," McConnell said. "And today, two weeks later, we have 52 Republicans who think we don't need either a hearing or a vote in committee."
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said he's not going to let up on holding a hearing and a vote on Garland. He pointed to the more than a dozen Republicans who have agreed "to sit down and talk to him," and said Iowa newspapers are critical of Grassley for not holding hearings.
"We feel we are making progress," Reid said.