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GOP Senators: This Isn't Hypocrisy

Newser — Newser Editors

Mitch McConnell and top Senate Republicans are expected to meet Monday to talk strategy on the Ruth Bader Ginsburg vacancy, and all GOP senators will meet Tuesday, reports Politico.

McConnell can't afford any more defections toward his goal of confirming a nominee before the election, after Sens. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski declared that the decision should wait until after Nov. 3.

McConnell, meanwhile, gained the support of three key senators: Lamar Alexander, Roy Blunt, and Rob Portman. Those he still has to worry about include Mitt Romney and Cory Gardner.

Meanwhile, the Hill reports that senators including Lindsey Graham are pushing back against charges of hypocrisy as critics point to a sentiment Graham voiced in 2016 about Antonin Scalia's Supreme Court vacancy.

"I want you to use my words against me," he said at the time.

"If there's a Republican president in 2016 and a vacancy occurs in the last year of the first term, you can say Lindsey Graham said, 'Let's let the next president, whoever it might be, make that nomination,'" he said.

But Graham, now in a close re-election race, says things have changed. “Democrats chose to set in motion rules changes to stack the court at the Circuit level and they chose to try to destroy Brett Kavanaugh’s life to keep the Supreme Court seat open," he tweeted. "You reap what you sow.” NPR says Graham's line about rule changes lacks context because Republicans in 2017 also played a role in changing the norms on vacancies.

Other GOP senators, including Tom Cotton and Ted Cruz, say things are different in 2020 because one party controls both the presidency and the Senate, unlike in 2016.

It's a "constitutional duty" to move forward, Cotton said Sunday.

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