Washington, Feb 6 (EFE).- Senate Democrats on Monday announced plans to hold the chamber’s floor for 24 hours to protest President Donald Trump’s nomination of Betsy DeVos, a multimillionaire GOP donor, as education secretary.
It is expected that the marathon session will conclude on Tuesday at noon when the final vote on DeVos’s confirmation is scheduled, although presently the tally appears to be 50 for and 50 against, given that two Republican senators have expressed opposition to her nomination.
In the event of a Senate tie, Vice President Mike Pence will be called upon to cast the deciding vote on the nomination, meaning that DeVos will be confirmed, but Democrats are using their maneuver to put additional pressure on several of their Republican colleagues to break ranks and join them in voting against her.
Nevertheless, it seems unlikely that they will able to secure the vote of another GOP lawmaker, thus ending DeVos’s aspirations to head the Department of Education, although if Pence is forced to step in it would be the first time ever that a US Vice President has had to cast the deciding vote to confirm a presidential cabinet member.
DeVos has no political experience and Democrats have received an avalanche of complaints from the public rejecting her nomination because of her past support for private education over public education.
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,” said Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) at midday on Monday.
“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,” she added.
The Republican senators who have said they will vote against DeVos’s confirmation are Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkoswki (Alaska), while those who are being subjected to significant pressure to get them to join the anti-
DeVos contingent include Deb Fischer (Nebraska), Cory Gardner (Colorado), Shelley Moore Capito (West Virginia) and Jerry Moran (Kansas).