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WATCH: Senate To Take Decisive Vote On Kavanaugh's Nomination To The Supreme Court

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee arrive for a news conference on Thursday, reiterating their plan to bring Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Senate floor.

Updated at 8:40 a.m. ET

The Senate is set to vote Friday morning on the first step to confirming Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court following the release of an FBI report on allegations of sexual misconduct by Kavanaugh.

Senators had one day to review a confidential supplemental background check into Kavanaugh's behavior in the early- to mid-1980s when he was in high school and college. The closely guarded collection of interviews is celebrated by Republican leaders as concrete proof that Kavanaugh did not harass or abuse women. Democrats say the interviews, which they originally requested, are incomplete and inconclusive.

The FBI report has done little to alleviate a bitter partisan fight over Kavanaugh's nomination. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., says the Senate will proceed anyway on a Friday procedural vote that could pave the way for a final confirmation vote on Saturday.

"What we know for sure is the FBI report did not corroborate any of the allegations against Judge Kavanaugh," McConnell said at a news conference. "The second thing we know for sure is that there's no way anything we did would satisfy the Democrats."

You can watch the Senate proceedings below: 

Kavanaugh took an unusual step to boost his nomination Thursday evening, writing an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal expressing regret for the heated tone of his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, including comments decrying Democratic attacks, that was seen by some wavering senators as too partisan.

"I was very emotional last Thursday, more so than I have ever been. I might have been too emotional at times. I know that my tone was sharp, and I said a few things I should not have said," Kavanaugh wrote. The White House defended Kavanaugh's demeanor during the hearings.

"Any human being who has been falsely accused of a range of things including gang rape has a right to be upset, has a right to be angry, and that's what we saw last week," said White House spokesperson Kerri Kupec during an interview with Morning Edition.

McConnell needs 51 votes to clear the procedural hurdle on Friday. Republicans have enough votes to meet that bar on their own, but only if they win the support of Sens. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, who have withheld judgment while the FBI completed its work.

Kelsey Snell is a Congressional correspondent for NPR. She has covered Congress since 2010 for outlets including The Washington Post, Politico and National Journal. She has covered elections and Congress with a reporting specialty in budget, tax and economic policy. She has a graduate degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. and an undergraduate degree in political science from DePaul University in Chicago.
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