Democrats hold marathon session before DeVos vote

Protestors demonstrate against President Trump's nominee for secretary of education, Betsy DeVos, on Capitol Hill on February 6, 2017 in Washington, DC.

Critics contend DeVos is not the right candidate, because she never attended public school as a student, participated as a parent, supported or worked in a public school setting.

Senate Democrats may not be able to block any of President Donald Trump's Cabinet picks, but this week they will continue to lean on every procedural maneuver available to delay and debate some of the President's more controversial nominations.

Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of ME last week said they would not support DeVos.

Last week, Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania released a statement in which he said he would vote to confirm DeVos.

Broad ended his letter by again encouraging McConnell and Schumer to oppose DeVos' nomination.

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"Betsy DeVos doesn't believe in public schools".

Starting on Monday afternoon, the Democrats vowed to talk on the Senate floor for 24-hours with the hopes of persuading one more Republican to vote against DeVos, which could tip the balance against her but is unlikely to happen. DeVos' final confirmation vote is scheduled for Monday where the expected vote will be a 50-50 tie leading to a tiebreak by Vice President Mike Pence.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of NY called DeVos "one of the worst nominees". That position, and her lack of experience as either a teacher or administrator in any school, has teachers unions and others lined up against her.

"I know for a fact there are other Republicans who are feeling the heat and could come around", Sen. His spokesperson, Kevin Smith, said, "we always welcome hearing from our constitutents". DeVos, identified most frequently as a wealthy Republican Party donor, charter school advocate and not a friend of public schools, appears set for a 50-50 tie vote in the Senate on Tuesday.

With all Democrats and Independents, plus two Republicans, voting against DeVos, the vote now stands at 50-50.


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