Republicans fail to end a Democratic bid to block a U.S. Senate confirmation vote on President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nomination. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Republicans failed on Thursday (April 6) to end a Democratic bid to block a U.S. Senate confirmation vote on President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nomination but were poised to quickly resort to a rule change dubbed the "nuclear option" to allow approval of Neil Gorsuch a day later. With ideological control of the nation's highest court at stake in the fierce political showdown, the Senate held a vote to end debate on Gorsuch's nomination and move toward a Friday vote to confirm him to the lifetime post. But with the 55-45 tally, Republicans fell short of the 60-vote super-majority needed to overcome the Democratic procedural tactic called a filibuster and proceed to a vote in which senators could confirm him by a simple majority. Republicans were set to immediately move to hold a vote on changing long-standing Senate rules in order to prohibit filibusters against Supreme Court nominees. The rule change, which requires a simple majority, has been dubbed the "nuclear option" because it has been considered an extreme break with Senate traditions, and Trump has encouraged McConnell to "go nuclear." Republicans control the Senate 52-48. Republicans said Gorsuch would be confirmed on Friday one way or the other. "This will be the first and last partisan filibuster of the Supreme Court," Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor on Thursday ahead of the vote. "In 20 or 30 or 40 years, we will sadly point to today as a turning point in the history of the Senate and the Supreme Court, a day when we irrevocably moved further away from the principles our founders intended for these institutions: principles of bipartisanship, moderation and consensus," Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said on the Senate floor. Senate confirmation of Gorsuch, 49, would restore the nine-seat court's 5-4 conservative majority, enable Trump to leave a lasting imprint on America's highest judicial body and fulfill a top campaign promise by the Republican president.