“Public education isn’t just another issue”
Democrats are hoping for a last-minute miracle to derail the confirmation of Betsy DeVos, President Trump’s nominee for education secretary, by holding the Senate floor for 24 hours straight.
Speaking from the scene, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., said of the talkathon on Monday, "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.”
[quote position="right" is_quote="true"]Her views are extreme. She seems to constantly demean the main purpose of her job.[/quote]
Other Democrats, including Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, urged all Democrats to “join our party,” adding about DeVos, “Her views are extreme. She seems to constantly demean the main purpose of her job, public education.”
DeVos’s confirmation vote is scheduled for noon Tuesday and will likely be an incredibly close vote. As The Washington Post reported, all 48 Senate Democrats oppose DeVos, along with two Republicans, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine. Democrats need to secure just one more vote against DeVos to defeat her nomination. Vice President Mike Pence will act as a tiebreaking vote if need be.
While many Republicans have defended DeVos, believing she will help scale back the government’s role in public education, Democrats and teachers’ unions have fiercely opposed her nomination. As the ranking Democrat of the Senate Education Committee, Murray said in a statement:
“For the vast majority of people across the country, public education isn’t just another issue. It’s different. We believe that a commitment to strong public schools is part of America’s core. The idea that every student, in every community, should have the opportunities that strong public schools offer. This is a notion that is embedded in our values. It’s who we are. It’s in our blood.”
Watch the 24-hour blitz below.