A Republican senator won't be in Washington when Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation may be put for a vote on the Senate floor. But he will fly back from Montana as soon as he walks his daughter down the aisle.
Sen. Steve Daines of Montana first told the Associated Press Thursday he was attending his daughter's wedding on Saturday, despite talk of a full Senate vote on the judge this weekend.
Katie Schoettler, a spokeswoman for Daines, confirmed the report Thursday evening with the Washington Examiner. She said the senator would walk his daughter down the aisle, but added she couldn't comment on how the scheduling conflict could affect Kavanaugh's nomination before the timing for the vote was decided.
Daines told CNN Thursday night he would return to Washington after the wedding.
But, he said in a televised interview on Fox News, getting past the procedural vote Friday morning will be the first hurdle. After that, he said, "We have a plan ready to go."
"My goal this weekend is to walk my daughter down the aisle and to see a new United States Supreme Court Justice," he said.
Daines has supported Kavanaugh throughout his confirmation process, but his absence from Washington could pose a mathematical problem for GOP senators hoping to push through the judge's nomination. The GOP holds a razor-thin majority in the upper chamber, 51 to 49. Sens. Jeff Manchin, D-W.Va., Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, remain the undecided swing votes.
"Votes are held open all the time in front of the U.S. Senate," he said.
Daines voted Friday to move forward with the confirmation process, and said he called Kavanaugh Thursday night to reassure him of his support. "I'm going to be there to vote for you as needed," he said he told the judge.
Just cast my vote for Judge Kavanaugh getting him one step closer onto #SCOTUS. We spoke last night, and I assured him, I will be back to vote YES this weekend if needed. Looking forward to calling Judge Kavanaugh, Justice Kavanaugh. pic.twitter.com/KzfdX2HIMc— Steve Daines (@SteveDaines) October 5, 2018
Schoettler additionally told the AP Thursday Daines had read the FBI's supplemental background check, conducted amid multiple allegations of sexual misconduct being made against Kavanaugh. The judge has denied all the accusations leveled against him.
Daines saw no evidence in the FBI's report corroborating claims made against Kavanaugh by one accuser Christine Blasey Ford, Schoettler said to the news outlet.