The Senate votes tomorrow on the nomination of Betsy DeVos for education secretary -- and Senate Democrats are pulling an all-nighter to oppose her in the hopes of drawing one more GOP lawmaker to their side.
The chamber’s Democrats will keep the Senate in session overnight to talk about their opposition to DeVos, who they argue is not qualified for the top job at the Education Department and lacks knowledge about the public school system.
“Democrats will hold the floor for the next 24 hours until the final vote to do everything we can to persuade just one more Republican to join us,” Sen. Patty Murray (D-Washington), the ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension (HELP) Committee, said on the Senate floor Monday afternoon.
Other Democrats tweeted about the all-nighter, announcing which hours they’d volunteered to speak:
Democrats looking to oppose President Donald Trump’s Cabinet nominees have some reason to hope when it comes to DeVos: two GOP senators, Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), announced last week that they could not vote for her.
Under Senate rules, a Cabinet nominee must win a simple majority of 50 senators to be confirmed -- and the sitting vice president casts the tie-breaking vote in the event of a 50-50 split. Republicans hold a 52-48 majority in the Senate, meaning that unless one other GOP senator joins Murkowski and Collins that Vice President Mike Pence will be able to cast the deciding vote and confirm DeVos.
The final vote is expected on Tuesday, with the exact time still to be determined.