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WATCH: Sen. Joe Donnelly reads letters from constituents opposing Betsy DeVos

Posted at 7:13 AM, Feb 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-07 08:09:21-05

INDIANAPOLIS -- With time running out until the U.S. Senate members vote on Betsy DeVos' confirmation for Secretary of Education, Senate Democrats are trying to convince one more Republican member to change their mind and vote against her. 

Democrats spoke for 24 hours against DeVos, with the Senators taking turns speaking.

Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN) spoke for about 10 minutes against DeVos.

He shared stories from letters he received from people across the state who oppose her, like a student at Purdue University, a mother of three from Fishers, Indiana, a soon-to-be college graduate and future teacher and a public education advocate from Muncie, Indiana, among others.

On Jan. 25, Donnelly announced he would oppose DeVos' nomination. 

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Sen. Todd Young (R-IN) is part of the U.S. Senate committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, so he had a vote on whether to advance her to the full Senate. 

Young voted yes in committee, and is expected to vote yes on the full Senate vote Tuesday.

“Betsy DeVos has devoted her life to the field of education," Young's spokesperson said in a statement. "She has an unwavering belief that parents should be in charge of making choices about their child's education. Senator Young looks forward to working with Ms. DeVos as Secretary of Education.”

If all 48 Democrats vote against DeVos, which is expected, and two Republicans vote against her, the vote would be split at 50-50, meaning Vice President Mike Pence would break the tie. Pence has said he will vote to confirm DeVos.

MORE | Vice President Pence may cast tie-breaking vote to confirm Betsy DeVos as education secretary | Sen. Todd Young votes to confirm Betsy DeVos, vote moves to full Senate

Two Senate Republicans, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine and Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, said they will not vote to support DeVos. 

DeVos has been a major funder of Indiana's school voucher movement. Her family has given millions of dollars to the American Federation for Children, which has then donated money to proponents of voucher programs.

RELATED | Betsy DeVos has been major donor in Indiana school voucher push

The Senators are expected to vote at noon Tuesday, according to The Hill.

Watch Donnelly's full speech below: