Democrats will speak on the Senate floor starting Monday and continue nonstop until Tuesday afternoon to protest the nomination of Donald Trump's pick for education secretary, Betsy DeVos, Politico reports.
After Republican senators Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkoswki of Alaska agreed to vote against DeVos in the full Senate vote slotted for noon Tuesday, Democrats only need one more member from across the aisle to throw their support against the billionaire charter school advocate and block her confirmation. If that doesn't happen, the vote will likely result in a 50–50 tie, and Vice President Mike Pence gets to cast the tie-breaking vote—a first for a cabinet secretary confirmation.
DeVos has gained vocal disapproval from both Republicans and Democrats who argue that she lacks the experience needed to lead the Education Department. In addition to having virtually zero experience in higher education, DeVos has been outspoken about allocating taxpayer dollars for private schools, rather than public schools. She also said during her confirmation hearing that she thinks guns belong in schools to protect people from "grizzlies." She also allegedly plagiarized some of the written answers to additional questions from senators on the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions before their confirmation vote.
Rather than delay the vote further, which was originally supposed to happen last week, the 24-hour filibuster stands as the Democrats' way for bringing more attention to DeVos's contentious nomination and put pressure on Republicans to vote against her. Senators have already received thousands of phone calls from constitutes and concerned teachers' groups urging them to vote against DeVos, according to CNN.
You can watch all the action via the livestream below.