Senate schedules 6:30 am vote on DeVos

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellAre Democrats turning Trump-like? House Democrat calls for gun control: Cities can ban plastic straws but 'we can't ban assault weapons?' Churches are arming and training congregants in response to mass shootings: report MORE (R-Ky.) has scheduled a vote at 6:30 a.m. Friday, an unusually early time, to advance Betsy DeVos’s nomination to serve as secretary of Education.

Senate Republicans say they are getting fed up with Democratic obstruction and the extra early vote will allow them to get a head start in running time off the procedural clock.

McConnell is confident he will have the 51 votes he needs Friday to end debate on DeVos.

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Early morning votes are an extreme rarity in the Senate. One memorable instance took place the day before Christmas, 2009, when Democrats passed ObamaCare shortly after 7 am on a party-line vote of 60 to 39. 

While two Republicans, Sens. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsCook Political Report moves Susan Collins Senate race to 'toss up' The Hill's Morning Report — Trump and the new Israel-'squad' controversy Trump crosses new line with Omar, Tlaib, Israel move MORE (Maine) and Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiThe Hill's Morning Report - Progressives, centrists clash in lively Democratic debate Senate braces for brawl over Trump's spy chief Congress kicks bipartisan energy innovation into higher gear MORE (Alaska), will ultimately oppose DeVos, they will vote with their GOP colleagues on the procedural question of ending dilatory debate.

Senate rules require that 30 hours elapse after the Senate has voted to cut off a filibuster before a vote on final passage can be held.

By voting at 6:30 a.m., Republicans have a chance of confirming DeVos by late Monday but if Democrats drag out the post-cloture debate for the full 30 hours, it could lag intoTuesday. 

McConnell and other GOP leaders are confident that there will be no other Republican defections on DeVos. They expect she will win confirmation next week with 51 votes after Vice President Pence weighs in to break an expected tie.