April 4, 2017 / 2:32 PM / 4 months ago

U.S. Senate Republican leader starts clock ticking to showdown on Gorsuch

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U.S. Supreme Court nominee judge Neil Gorsuch listens to a question as he testifies during the third day of his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., March 22, 2017.Jim Bourg

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said on Tuesday he would soon file a motion seeking to cut off an expected Democratic filibuster of Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, setting the clock ticking toward a showdown vote later in the week.

The motion would set up a vote, likely on Thursday, to try to cut off the filibuster, which would require a super-majority of 60 votes in the 100-seat Senate to end debate on Gorsuch's nomination and move to a final up or down vote on confirmation.

Enough Democrats have agreed to support a filibuster to block a final vote under current Senate rules, and McConnell is expected to seek a rule change to get the nomination approved by Friday.

Reporting by Timothy Ahmann; Editing by Doina Chiacu

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