Senate schedules 6:30 am vote on DeVos

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOn The Money: Pelosi, Mnuchin talk but make no progress on ending stalemate | Trump grabs 'third rail' of politics with payroll tax pause | Trump uses racist tropes to pitch fair housing repeal to 'suburban housewife' Pelosi, Mnuchin talk but make no progress on ending stalemate Democrats say White House isn't budging in coronavirus relief stalemate 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 CollinsProgressive Jewish group endorses Biden Poll: Gideon leads Collins by 8 points in Maine Senate race The Hill's 12:30 Report - Speculation over Biden's running mate announcement MORE (Maine) and Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiBipartisan senators ask congressional leadership to extend census deadline Davis: The Hall of Shame for GOP senators who remain silent on Donald Trump On The Money: Pessimism grows as coronavirus talks go down to the wire | Jobs report poised to light fire under COVID-19 talks | Tax preparers warn unemployment recipients could owe IRS 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.