The Senate will come into session at 10 a.m. Thursday, and an hour later, the procedural vote to end debate, the cloture vote, is scheduled for 11 a.m.
Republicans do not have the 60 votes necessary to cut off the Democrats’ filibuster and end debate on Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to be Supreme Court justice. Forty-four Democrats have said they will vote against ending or limiting debate.
Immediately following the failed procedural vote on Thursday morning, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is expected to move to change the Senate rules through a series of parliamentary moves and procedural votes eliminating filibusters for Supreme Court nominees – also known as the nuclear option.
A vote to change the rules would be a simple majority vote. The rules change would lower the current 60-vote threshold for Supreme Court nominees to a simple majority.
Under the new rules, the Senate will then take a simple majority procedural vote to limit debate to 30 hours on the nomination.
A final confirmation vote on the Gorsuch nomination is expected sometime Friday evening.
John Nolen contributed to this report