29 Sep 2018

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What does "as in" (3rd paragraph) mean?

1. Flake voted for Kavanaugh to move out of the committee. But he also made clear that he would not vote for Kavanaugh on the Senate floor without an FBI investigation of the sexual assault allegation against him — an accusation that the nominee has vehemently denied.

2. In a vacuum, that doesn't mean much. If Republicans only lost Flake, they would have 50 votes in favor of Kavanaugh's confirmation when the scheduled vote would happen on Tuesday. That would allow Vice President Mike Pence to break the tie, and Kavanaugh would be confirmed.

3. But Flake — as well as Minnesota Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar — suggested in the moments before the 11-10 vote that there were other Republicans who felt the same as Flake. As in, they would not support Kavanaugh's confirmation unless and until the FBI investigation happens. Those senators are, presumably, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

4. None of what Flake did was binding — until the White House and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell weighed in. McConnell formally requested the White House to instruct the FBI to do a supplemental background check, which "would be limited to current credible allegations against the nominee and must be completed no later than one week from today."

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