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Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Vice President Mike Pence told "CBS Evening News" on Monday that President Trump has "an obligation under the Constitution" to put forward a nominee to replace the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

The state of play: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has vowed to give Trump's nominee a vote, despite opposing then-President Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland following Justice Antonin Scalia's death in 2016, on the grounds that voters should decide in the next election who is appointed to the court.

  • Pence said the circumstances have changed since 2016 because the same party now holds control of the White House and the Senate.

What else he's saying: "President Trump believes that he has an obligation under the Constitution of the United States to put forward a nominee for the Supreme Court," Pence said Monday.

  • "There have been 29 times that there have been vacancies since George Washington through Barack Obama. In all 29 cases, the president has made a nomination to the Supreme Court during an election year. And President Trump believes that it's his responsibility and his duty to do that again."

Worth noting: Ginsburg's death — coming 46 days before Election Day — is the second-shortest amount of time between an opening on the court and an election, behind only the vacancy caused by Justice Robert Taney's death in October 1846, CBS News notes.

Where it stands: Two GOP senators — Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) — have said they oppose holding a vote before the election. That means two more defections would force McConnell to delay until at least the lame-duck session of Congress.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Senate tide begins to shift toward $2,000 checks after Trump's push

Sen. Marco Rubio campaigning for Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue in Georgia. Photo: Jessica McGowan/Getty Images

A couple of days ago, it looked impossible that $2,000 COVID relief checks — up from the $600 checks for individuals in the package President Trump signed Sunday — could pass the Senate. That has changed with Trump's final-hours advocacy for bigger checks, Republican sources tell Axios.

The state of play: It's still an uphill battle. But Republican senators are feeling more pressure from constituents — pumped by Trump — to do more.

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.

WSJ editorial board: Trump's push for $2,000 checks will hand Democrats the Senate

Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

The Wall Street Journal published an editorial on Monday effectively accusing President Trump of sabotaging Republicans' chances of winning the Georgia Senate runoffs with his push for $2,000 stimulus checks, calling it an "in-kind contribution to Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Joe Biden."

Why it matters: It's another sharp criticism from a newspaper owned by Rupert Murdoch — co-chair of Fox Corp. and executive chair of News Corp — that comes one day after the New York Post said Trump is "cheering for an undemocratic coup" with his efforts to overturn the election he lost.