If you thought you knew what the final vote on Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation was going to be, you may not be quite right. But, as with the whole confirmation process so far, it stands to reason that down to the last minute, there would be drama.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) who had announced that she would be a “no” on Kavanaugh, is changing her vote to “present” as a courtesy to so Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) doesn’t have to fly back from his daughter’s wedding to make the vote.
While Murkowski called Kavanaugh a “good man,” suggesting that she didn’t believe that allegations, the rest of her rationale for not voting for him was unclear. “He’s clearly a learned judge,” she said. “But in my conscience, because that’s how I have to vote — end of the day, is with my conscience — I could not conclude that he is the right person for the court at this time.”
From Daily Caller:
Daines reported that fellow Montana Rep. Greg Gianforte is offering his personal plane on standby in case he is promptly needed in Washington, D.C., to cast his vote. However, in an act of civility, Murkowski agreed to “pair” with Daines and vote “present” rather than “nay.”
Pairing is an informal and voluntary agreement between two lawmakers in which one member involved in the pair agrees to nullify the outcome of the other’s absence by essentially refraining from casting his or her own opposing vote.
“I do this because a friend, a colleague of ours is in Montana this evening and … he’s going to be walking his daughter down the aisle and he won’t be present to vote,” Murkowski said, according to The Hill. “I have extended this as a courtesy to my friend. It will not change the outcome of the vote.”
This will be the first pair done in the Senate in 15 years, according to Washington insider Jamie Dupree. The last live pair occurred in October 2003 between former Nevada Sens. Harry Reid and John Ensign.
So that would make it 50-49, barring any other drama.
But let’s hope they have Vice President Mike Pence at the ready on speed dial in the event he’s needed.