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Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) will vote to confirm President Trump's nominee to replace the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg, he announced in a statement Monday.

Why it matters: The development is a win for President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). It should mean Republicans are all but assured to have enough support to hold hearings for Trump's potential nominee.

  • With Gardner's statement, it appeared as though Senate Republicans had the votes to approve Trump's nominee, barring any major complications."
  • Gardner's position on the issue was under heightened scrutiny as he faces a tough reelection bid in Colorado this November.

Where it stands: Two Republican Senators — Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) — have said that they do not support rushing through a confirmation vote before November.

  • Two more defections would likely force Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to resort to holding a vote in the lame-duck session, which neither Murkowski nor Collins have addressed.

What he's saying: "When a president exercises constitutional authority to name a judge for the Supreme Court vacancy, the Senate must decide how to best fulfill its constitutional duty of advice and consent," Gardner wrote.

  • "I have and will continue to support judicial nominees who will protect our Constitution, not legislate from the bench, and uphold the law. Should a qualified nominee who fits this criteria be put forward, I will vote to confirm."

Go deeper

McConnell: "No realistic path to quickly pass" stimulus check increase

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Wednesday he does not see a "realistic path to quickly pass" a House-approved standalone measure for $2,000 stimulus checks, despite calls from President Trump for increased payments.

Why it matters: The move effectively kills any pathway to pass the bill before the end of the the 116th Congress.

Updated Dec 29, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Georgia's GOP senators back $2,000 stimulus checks ahead of runoff

Sens. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.) on Tuesday both came out in favor of increasing direct payments in the coronavirus relief package from $600 to $2,000 per person.

Why it matters: The two Republican senators are on the ballot in a pair of runoffs in Georgia next week that will determine control of the Senate.

Dec 30, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Mnuchin: Americans to start receiving $600 stimulus payments from tonight

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin during a December House Financial Services Committee hearing in Washington, D.C. Photo: Getty Images

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced Tuesday the second round of coronavirus relief stimulus payments were being sent to millions of Americans.

The big picture: As President Trump and others continue to press Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who blocked Democrats' request to hold a vote on a House measure to boost the size of the checks to $2,000 per person, Mnuchin tweeted that the $600 payments "may begin to arrive in some accounts by direct deposit as early as tonight" and that paper checks would begin to be mailed Wednesday.