There’s very little Senate Democrats can do now to stop the confirmation of Betsy DeVos asPresident Donald Trump’s secretary of education unless an additional Republican senator comes forward to block her.
On Tuesday afternoon, lawmakers will have to vote on DeVos. Democrats plan to spend the final hours before the vote, however, speaking out against DeVos on the floor in an organized talkathon.
— Senator Bob Casey (@SenBobCasey) February 6, 2017
Democrats’ talkathon is little more than a last-ditch messaging effort to speak out against DeVos, who has proven to be one of Trump’s most controversial nominees. Over the last week, Republicans have been inundated with calls from constituents and interest groups urging for them to vote against her. Two Republicans – Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Susan Collins (R-ME) announced they will vote against her.
But that still isn’t enough to stop DeVos. On Tuesday, Republicans will bring in Vice President Mike Pence to break the tie and get DeVos across the finish line. Four years ago, it would have taken 60 votes to approve DeVos. But former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) changed the rules in 2014 so that presidential cabinet nominees now only need 51 votes to be confirmed by the Senate.
Since Democrats lost their ability to filibuster presidential cabinet nominees, now they’ll just talk.