Senate majority whip John Cornyn told CNN on Tuesday that GOP leaders were flogging the Mueller bill to see where the votes were.
"We are flogging the bill to see where the people are, to give us an idea of the outcome," he said. It is likely to fail since it would almost certainly require 60 votes to be passed and most Republicans oppose it, claiming that it is pointless or claiming that it is unconstitutional. Republicans control 51 out of 49 seats for Democrats.
Cornyn stated that he strongly opposed the Mueller bill, but that the GOP leaders would allow the GOP's vote to allow Flake to lift his opposition to all judicial appointments until That there is a vote on the Mueller bill.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, however, said Tuesday that if other senators tried to introduce the bill with unanimous consent, he would oppose it.
"It's a solution looking for a problem," the Kentucky Republican said at a press conference. "The President is not going to dismiss Robert Mueller, and I do not think he should do it, nor do I think he's allowed to finish." We have a lot of things to do to try to finish this year without (voting) on things that are completely irrelevant results. "
This could have an immediate impact, given that the vote of Thomas Farr, federal presidential candidate of President Donald Trump, should take place later this week and that it should also be razor sharp. If the GOP leaders can get Flake, it would create a margin if another Republican voted against Farr. Asked about the Farr nomination on Tuesday, South Carolina Republican Senator Tim Scott, whose opposition to some Trump candidates has resulted in the withdrawal of at least one nomination, said that he was not the only one in the world. he "did his homework".
Democratic senators are pushing this week to defeat Farr's appointment as North Carolina district court judge. They say they oppose him because he has been working on the controversial laws relating to the identification of voters in that state and on the 1990 campaign of Jesse Helms, accused of Sent false letters to African Americans.
"Every American should be alarmed by the attempt to confirm a candidate with Farr's blatant record on the right to vote, particularly with the Republican agenda aimed at maintaining power by limiting access to the ballot currently posted, "said Democratic Senate Leader Chuck Schumer. statement Monday.
Flake on Tuesday would not commit to supporting Farr's candidacy if the special councils bill was put to the vote, saying he would consider it "on the merits".
He also stated that he had rejected the offers of the GOP leaders to vote on a non-binding resolution or to show that the votes were not there to get the measure passed. But he said that if the Senate rejects the Mueller bill, the fight is essentially over, a sign that it will not ask that it be added to a bill aimed at keeping the government open.
"If that fails, that's all, I can not ask for passage," Flake told CNN. "What I can demand is that it be put to a vote."
In July, the White House withdrew the candidacy of Ryan Bounds, a hopeful at the Court of Circuit, just before the candidate was confronted with his Senate confirmation vote following Scott's decision to voice his concerns to the leaders. of the Senate. Scott's concerns related to the content of Bounds' writings – which critics described as insensitive racial – when he was at Stanford and Bounds did not disclose the writings to a committee. Bipartisan lawyers who had recommended him for a post on the ninth circuit.
"The president said he was not going to call the special council, but that is not enough," Flake told the Senate on November 14. "And that may be what reassures the leader of the majority … … does not comfort me."
Jeremy Herb, Phil Mattingly and CNN's Ariane of Vogue contributed to this story.