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« Dems Hold Open Vote For Appropriations Bill | Blog Home Page | Pressure Building On White House Over Health Care Exclusion »

Dem Leaders See GOP Support for Sotomayor

Senators Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) and Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) believe Sonia Sotomayor won't need to rely solely on Democratic votes for confirmation.

The three Democratic leaders, along with Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), lavished praise on the Supreme Court nominee today in their weekly off-camera briefing with reporters and said they expect some of their colleagues from the other side of aisle to back President Obama's nominee.

"I think that when it's all over, it's not going to be just Democrats who" vote for her, Reid said. "I think there's going to be a vote with a number of Republicans voting for her."

Durbin said "a number of Republicans" have spoken with him, and it's his belief that "she will receive a substantial number of Republican votes. I can't tell you how many."

Schumer, who formally introduced Sotomayor to the Judiciary Committee on Monday, concurred. "I think we're going to get a good number of Republican votes," Schumer said.

"She's just wowed the committee," said Schumer. "A number of Republicans came over to me after the first day and then the second day and said, 'Wow, she is good.' They knew they didn't lay much of a glove on her."

Reid said he hopes the committee hearings will "end soon" so Sotomayor's confirmation can be brought up for a vote "as soon as possible." He also indicated that before the Senate breaks August 7 for its month-long recess the chamber will vote on the Department of Defense Authorization Act, Sotomayor's confirmation and health care.