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Senate schedules 6:30 am vote on DeVos

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcCarthy and Biden haven't spoken since election Democrats roll out legislation to expand Supreme Court Wall Street spent .9B on campaigns, lobbying in 2020 election: study 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 CollinsModerates' 0B infrastructure bill is a tough sell with Democrats OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Senate confirms Mallory to lead White House environment council | US emissions dropped 1.7 percent in 2019 | Interior further delays Trump rule that would make drillers pay less to feds Anti-Asian hate crimes bill overcomes first Senate hurdle MORE (Maine) and Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiModerates' 0B infrastructure bill is a tough sell with Democrats The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Tax March - CDC in limbo on J&J vax verdict; Rep. Brady retiring Trump mocks Murkowski, Cheney election chances 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.