- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Sen. Chris Murphy said Tuesday it’s “unlikely” that Senate Democrats will muster enough votes to block the nomination of Betsy DeVos, President Trump’s pick to be the next secretary of the Department of Education.

“I think at this point, it’s unlikely that we’re going to get that 51st vote, but we’re going to try up until the last minute,” Mr. Murphy, Connecticut Democrat, said on CNN’s “New Day.”

Mr. Murphy said he thinks Republicans don’t want to risk upsetting Mr. Trump so that they can get their “right-wing, conservative economic agenda” through later in the year.

Senate Democrats have held the floor overnight to protest Mrs. DeVos. They’ve gone beyond simply declaring their opposition to her and have said she’s a historically unqualified presidential nominee.

But there’s little else they can do procedurally since the full Senate voted last week to cut off debate on the nomination.

A final confirmation vote is expected later Tuesday. Two Republicans, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine and Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, have indicated they plan to vote against Mrs. DeVos.

If every other senator votes with their party, including two independents who caucus with Democrats, that would leave a 50-50 split with Vice President Mike Pence presumably breaking the tie to confirm her.

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