Democrats Begin 'Talkathon' Against DeVos

ABC News' Amna Nawaz & Political Director, Rick Klein talk headlines from the senate floor.
5:35 | 02/06/17

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Transcript for Democrats Begin 'Talkathon' Against DeVos
Hey guys I'm in Abbas here live in New York pay in case you had trouble keeping up with the headlines of the weekend. Don't worry about it for a second reading it too caught up right here. And for that we're gonna go first down to Washington my colleague Rick Klein joins us from the Washington figure out ABC's political director of course strict thanks for being with us. The on the door and a so kick happen and something is happening down on the senate floor right now there's already some action it's not a filibuster though right so what exactly happened. Well to talk up on it may look like a filibuster or there's really nothing that. That Democrats can do that filibustered because they change the rules and they can actually filibuster a nomination but what this is about is Donald Trump's pick for secretary of education Betsy do loss. It is a polarizing picked a controversial pick it has Democrats up in arms and has at least two Republicans saying they will oppose president trump. And that has Democrats so committed to us that they plan to spend the next 24 hours controlling the senate floor using every procedural means that they have to try to delay this confirmation vote. The short term hold. Is that they pick off one more Republican vote and actually said Betsy to bust down in defeat would be an embarrassing setback. Mark the only actual rejection of a Donald Trump cabinet picked. If that doesn't happen though they're hoping that they make this into in organizing effort that might help place. You've seen the scenes at town halls and rallies across the country at airports people angry about various trump Arab policies. And this is now a manifestation of that and if the Democrats can channel that anger they see outside. Into this fight. And get the day's organized and get the competitive juices of being in the opposition going. If you like they have attempt late. From here on out so it's going to be a lot of talking on the senate floor of the next one to four hours at Rick as one Republican all of me to the one more one that's right so that the senate is up fifty to 48 Republican edge right now and two senators Susan Collins Lisa Murkowski Ruble represent relatively rural states Alaska. And Maine they feel like. That's you'd Abbas position on charter schools audience public schools is something that the they've heard from their constituents on to they have set on record they will oppose. That makes it 5050 in that case the tie is settled by the vice president of United States Mike Pence. No vice president has ever had to cast the tie breaking vote. For a cabinet official for an appointment like this at that would mark a first. But if Democrats are able to just on one more Republican to join them. Then that you will have enough votes or that's Abbas to succeed and and her nomination leader to pull or defeated on the senate floor tomorrow. Direct real quick that a lot of people are scratching their heads over that and why is this not a filibuster. Well filibuster. Is a is a means of speaking to of old boy in action and under senate rules on any piece of legislation or even a Supreme Court pick. Sixty senators are needed to cut off debate that means that its fewest 41 can get together and indefinitely delay. At an actual vote on something so that's what a technical term for a filibuster is is using that delay tactic to and delay indefinitely and therefore kill. A proposal. But what happened last time Democrats were in power under under President Obama early in his second term. They did away with the right for filibusters to take place on cabinet appointments. In fact the only nominee should vote that still requires sixty votes that that extra supermajority to break. A possible filibuster is the Supreme Court so. A run of the mill cabinet pick like secretary of education you only need fifty votes that means. That is really nothing Democrats can do to delay this indefinitely all they can do is shine a spotlight on the fact that this is going on. The Rick you mentioned the fact people have seen polls they've seen what's going on in the rest of the country that's why they're paying attention to this. They probably also saw the Saturday Night Live sketch which featured Betsy to block it feels like once you've had risen to SNL mockery status. Everybody's talking about Yale. Little say about her in this role because to be hurting mr. trump has several cabinet nominees outstanding. In confirmation votes she become sort of the lightning rod sort of the indicator. Four or how things will go moving forward. Fascinating that this would be the one because your right on the usable whole bunch of unconventional choices for the cabinet. She first of all did not handle those confirmation hearings very well she seemed. Unaware of basics of what the part of education does and that's what you saw SNL lamb putting. The other night. In addition to that she's been on record. As advocating charter schools at the expense of public schools it's a very critical things about the public school system she has no experience. In the public school system are running schools and any in any like that so that makes her views even more controversial. But I think something larger is going on here which is that Democrats are figuring out how to oppose Donald Trump. And what's worked in this case is that education is one of those issues that every family in America cares deeply about because you got kids in school everyone is being through the school system at some level. In Iraq's with the school system at some level. That is made this a in organizing moment. Tens of thousands of letters and emails and phone calls are flowing into Capitol Hill in have been for the last several weeks about this one issue it shows the power of just plain old organizing. And again it amply perhaps. Of how to oppose Donald Trump. Even in this age of truck. Where you have the the good that the biggest bully of all in the book behind the bully pulpit the guy that has allowed us megaphone over there you can still convince members of congress that something is not in the interest of their constituents and that's how the system is designed to work is supposed to be that a senator from Alaska senator from Maine. Makes that independent judgment so wet again whether or not we see bets and Abbas confirmed I think she's still likely to get infirm the lacking a third Republican crossing over. It is going to be remembered as as a signal event in the early trump era for how Democrats might find a way to Marshal opposition to this new president.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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