WASHINGTON D.C. (HawaiiNewsNow) - U.S. Senator Brian Schatz participated in a rare all-night talk-a-thon on the Senate floor early Tuesday morning on Capitol Hill hoping to block President Donald Trump's nominee for Secretary of Education.
Schatz, Democratic from Hawaii started his speech just before 9:00 p.m. Hawaii Standard Time and wrapped up more than an hour later. It was part of a 24-hour marathon of speeches on the Senate floor opposing one of President Donald Trump's most controversial cabinet picks: Betsy DeVos.
Hawaii's two Senators Mazie Hirono and Brian Schatz say their offices have been inundated with complaints about the nominee.
"Up until this moment; every Secretary of Education who has served in the President's Cabinet has had the resume required to take on these responsibilities," said Sen. Schatz.
"In the past few weeks, I've heard from thousands of Hawaii residents concerned about voting for an Education Secretary who clearly does not believe in our nation's public schools," Sen. Hirono said.
The president of the Hawaii State Teachers Association says DeVos has no experience in public education and not fit to do the job.
"We wouldn't do this for something else. I mean can you imagine having a doctor for the head of a hospital that's never been a doctor? We would never allow that. But some reason for education it's OK and it's not," said HSTA President Corey Rosenlee.
State Representative Bob McDermott, a Republican who represents Ewa, Ewa Beach, Ewa Gentry and Iroquois Point says the Department of Education needs change.
"I think Betsy DeVos will be fantastic because she believes in returning education, the control of education, back to the states. So that means giving more money to the states and less federal control," McDermott said.
It's expected to be a tight vote on Tuesday. All democrats along with two GOP senators is expected to vote against DeVos. Now, the vote now stands at 50-50. So Democrats will hold the floor until the final vote to do everything they can to persuade just one more Republican.
If the vote stays 50-50, Vice President Mike Pence will be called on to break a tie.