Romney backs vote on Supreme Court nominee, locking up votes for GOP

Senate Republicans appear to have locked up the votes needed to take up a Supreme Court nominee this year after Sen. Mitt Romney announced Tuesday he backs the move.

“I intend to follow the Constitution and precedent in considering the president’s nominee,” Romney, a Utah Republican, said in a statement. “If the nominee reaches the Senate floor, I intend to vote based upon their qualifications.”

Romney’s support means Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell won’t need a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Mike Pence to advance a nominee to the floor.

Republicans Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska said
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