STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And NPR's Tim Mak is covering this story and has been listening along with us. What did you hear there, Tim?
TIM MAK, BYLINE: Well, they said they believe they have the votes. But as of now, that information is not public. We are going into a key procedural vote in just a few hours. That's expected in just a few hours. And we don't know where the critical votes of Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Jeff Flake of Arizona, Joe Manchin of West Virginia - we don't know where they are right now.
INSKEEP: So there's four votes that are unknown. And Republicans need to get - I guess we should be clear about this - they need to get to 50, right?
MAK: That's right. And if you get to 50, the vice president can cast that deciding vote to make it - to basically confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
INSKEEP: And then if they cut off debate today, what happens then?
MAK: Well, then there would be an expected final vote later this weekend. Now, the procedural vote is so critical because if he gets the votes for that, he's likely to get the votes on the final confirmation.
INSKEEP: It'd be the same number of votes that he would need for the second go-around. Tim, thanks very much - really appreciate it.
MAK: Thanks a lot.
INSKEEP: NPR's Tim Mak as we await today's first vote - key vote - on Brett Kavanaugh. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.