The Senate is expected to vote on Betsy DeVos nomination Tuesday at noon. | AP Photo/Susan Walsh
Senate Democrats will take to the floor throughout the day and night Monday to voice their opposition to Betsy DeVos for Education secretary — a Hail Mary effort to persuade one more Republican to join them so they can thwart her confirmation.
The 24-hour marathon of speeches is expected to conclude at noon on Tuesday, when the Senate is expected to vote on DeVos’ confirmation. That vote is likely to be a 50-50 tie, with Vice President Mike Pence then taking a rare tie-breaker vote to ensure that DeVos is confirmed. If that happens, it would be the first time a vice president has needed to cast the tie-breaking vote for a Cabinet secretary.
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Democrats’ all-night debate would not be a filibuster, which is a tactic that seeks to delay or block a vote. Instead, would reflect an attempt to call more public attention to the vote, and increase public pressure on GOP senators who already have received tens of thousands of calls and emails from people who oppose DeVos.
Democrats will do “everything we can to persuade just one more Republican to join us, and I strongly encourage people across the country to join us — to double down on your advocacy — and to keep making your voices heard for these last 24 hours,” said Patty Murray (D-Wash.), ranking Democrat on the HELP Committee, in remarks prepared for delivery.
Murray was expected to make her remarks after the Senate convenes at noon.
DeVos is a GOP megadonor and school choice advocate whose nomination has been one of the most contentious of President Donald Trump’s Cabinet picks.
Democrats have been unified in opposing DeVos’ confirmation, and Republicans Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkoswki of Alaska have said they also will vote “no.”
With the vote so close, DeVos’ opponents in recent days have targeted Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) , Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), according to published reports.