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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Brett Kavanaugh appears likely to be confirmed to the Supreme Court within the next day or two.

Driving the news: Sens. Susan Collins, Jeff Flake and Joe Manchin will vote "yes," while Lisa Murkowski is a "no." That puts Kavanaugh at 51 expected votes.

What happened: Collins delivered her decision in a 45+ minute speech on the Senate floor:

  • "Interest groups have also spent an unprecedented amount of dark money opposing this nomination. One can only hope that the Kavanaugh nomination is where the process has finally hit rock bottom." (Worth noting: Dark money group Judicial Crisis Network has spent millions in favor of Kavanaugh.)
  • "I listened carefully to Christine Blasey Ford's testimonybefore the Judiciary Committee. I found her testimony to be sincere, painful, and compelling. I believe that she is a survivor of a sexual assault and that this trauma has upended her life. Nevertheless, the four witnesses she named could not corroborate any of the events of that evening gathering where she says the assault occurred." 
  • “I have been alarmed and disturbed, however, by some who have suggested that unless Judge Kavanaugh's nomination is rejected, the Senate is somehow condoning sexual assault. Nothing could be further from the truth.”
  • "The facts presented do not mean that Professor Ford was not sexually assaulted that night or at some other time, but they do lead me to conclude that the allegations failed to meet the more likely than not standard."
  • "My fervent hope is that Brett Kavanaugh will work to lessen the divisions in the Supreme Court so that we have far fewer 5-4 decisions and so that public confidence in our judiciary and our highest court is restored."

The bottom line: This is the second time in three decades that a woman's public accusation of sexual misconduct failed to derail a man's nomination to the Supreme Court.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
35 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Energy and climate move closer to center stage on Capitol Hill

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

The imminent enactment of Democrats' $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package creates space for lawmakers and the White House to craft infrastructure plans with big climate and energy-related provisions.

Why it matters: President Biden, during the campaign, vowed to make low-carbon energy, climate-resilient infrastructure and transportation projects a big focus of an economic recovery package. And the Texas power crisis could give fresh momentum to investments in grid modernization.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

The European Central Bank and the market's moment of truth

ECB president Christine Lagarde; Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The biggest event for markets this week will be Thursday's meeting of the European Central Bank's governing council and the press conference following it from ECB president Christine Lagarde.

Why it matters: With interest rates jumping around the globe, investors are looking to central bank heads to see if they will follow the lead of Fed chair Jerome Powell, who says rising rates are nothing to worry about, or Bank of Japan governor Haruhiko Kuroda, who has drawn a line in the sand on rates.

Mike Allen, author of AM
3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Manchin's next power play

Photo: "Axios on HBO"

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), America's ultimate swing voter, told me on "Axios on HBO" that he'll insist Republicans have more of a voice on President Biden's next big package than they did on the COVID stimulus.

The big picture: Manchin said he'll push for tax hikes to pay for Biden's upcoming infrastructure and climate proposal, and will use his Energy Committee chairmanship to force the GOP to confront climate reality.