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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Trump, Senate leaders to huddle on Supreme Court

Trump, Senate leaders to huddle on Supreme Court
By Jordain Carney - 01-24-17 10:59 AM EST

Senate leadership will huddle with President Trump at the White House on Tuesday afternoon to discuss the Supreme Court vacancy.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said he and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.) and Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) - the top members on the Judiciary Committee - were invited to talk about who should fill the seat.

"The president has invited the Democratic leader, the chairman and ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, and myself to the White House this afternoon to meet with him regarding the Supreme Court vacancy as part of his ongoing consultations with members of the Senate," McConnell said from the Senate floor.

"I appreciate the president soliciting our advice on this important matter," he added.

The White House confirmed the meeting, which is scheduled to take place in the Roosevelt Room.

The announcement comes after White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters on Monday that he expects an update on a Supreme Court nominee "in the next week or so."

Trump outlined a list of 21 potential picks during the campaign and has reportedly been narrowing down possible selections. His nominee will need 60 votes - including at least 8 Democrats - to be approved by the Senate.

Schumer has come under GOP fire for indicating that he would be willing to leave the Supreme Court seat open if Trump doesn't appoint a "mainstream" nominee.

"If the nominee is not bipartisan and mainstream, we absolutely will keep the seat open," Schumer told CNN's "State of the Union."

He added that Democrats are prepared to fight "tooth and nail" on the looming Supreme Court battle.

The Supreme Court seat has been vacant since February 2016, when Justice Antonin Scalia died. Republicans refused to give Merrick Garland, Obama's nominee, a hearing or a vote. They argued that the vacancy shouldn't be filled during an election year.

-Jordan Fabian contributed to this report, which was updated at 11:10 a.m.

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