GOP pushes back final DeVos vote until next week

Senate Republicans are postponing a final vote on controversial Education Secretary nominee Betsy DeVos until Monday or Tuesday.

Senior Republican aides acknowledged there will be an “attendance issue” preventing a vote from happening Saturday, but said it has nothing to do with the GOP fundraising treat a group of senators plan to attend starting Friday in Florida.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee’s (NRSC) fundraising event this weekend is at The Breakers hotel in Palm Beach.

The Senate is expected to vote at 6:30 a.m. Friday morning to end a Democratic filibuster of DeVos and advance her nomination to final vote. Leadership could bring up a final vote as soon as Saturday if they wanted, as Senate rules usually require 30 hours to elapse after a filibuster-ending cloture vote.

But the final confirmation vote will be pushed into next week, freeing up GOP senators to meet with donors at the luxury hotel, where a guest room with a view of the ocean costs $699 a night.

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Senate Republican Whip John CornynJohn CornynGraham angers Dems by digging into Clinton, Obama controversies Trump tells GOP senators he’s sticking to Syria and Afghanistan pullout  Texas governor, top lawmakers tell Trump not to use hurricane relief funds to build border wall MORE (Texas) said Thursday afternoon that he expected a vote Monday but later revised his estimate, telling reporters that Tuesday is also a possibility.

Timing on the final vote will depend on whether Republicans will be able to run all the required procedural time off the clock on Friday and Monday. Democrats are vowing to make it as difficult as possible.

Two senior GOP aides said NRSC Chairman Sen. Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerThe Memo: Concern over shutdown grows in Trump World Senate Republicans eye rules change to speed Trump nominees Overnight Defense: Trump unveils new missile defense plan | Dems express alarm | Shutdown hits Day 27 | Trump cancels Pelosi foreign trip | Senators offer bill to prevent NATO withdrawal MORE (R-Colo.) was willing to reschedule the retreat, and the attendance problem preventing a Saturday vote is due to a senator who has a “family issue.”

Two centrist GOP senators, Sens. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsTrump pitches new plan to reopen government amid Dem pushback The Memo: Concern over shutdown grows in Trump World Overnight Defense: Trump unveils new missile defense plan | Dems express alarm | Shutdown hits Day 27 | Trump cancels Pelosi foreign trip | Senators offer bill to prevent NATO withdrawal MORE (R-Maine) and Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiTrump pitches new plan to reopen government amid Dem pushback The Memo: Concern over shutdown grows in Trump World Kaine to force Senate to hold rare Saturday session amid shutdown MORE (R-Alaska), on Wednesday announced they will oppose DeVos, putting her nomination on the brink.

If every other Senate Republican backed DeVos, it would create a 50-50 tied vote that would let Vice President Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceMueller coverage keeps missing its mark, as BuzzFeed debacle shows Obama puts out call for service on MLK Day: ‘Make a positive impact on the world’ Lady Gaga blasts Pence as ‘worst representation of what it means to be Christian’ MORE cast the tie breaking vote to confirm her. Liberal groups are pressuring other centrist Republicans that they hope could flip and cast the deciding vote against DeVos.

The NRSC’s “Majority Makers” retreat will begin Friday with a 5:30 p.m. reception. Guests will sit down for intimate dinners with individual senators starting at 7 p.m.

On Saturday, guests will have the opportunity to participate in panel discussions with senators starting at 9:30 a.m. An afternoon golf tournament is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. The weather will be perfect for the occasion, 79 degrees and mostly sunny.

Guests will have the opportunity to have dinner with individual senators again on Saturday evening, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. They had the chance to request dinners with particular senators on either Friday or Saturday evening.

The event is open to political action committees that contribute $15,000 and individuals who give at least $5,000 to NRSC programs.

An NRSC spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment.