Scott Detrow

Things were going well for the Democrats in Miami.

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., hadn't exactly sold out the downtown theater they were campaigning in, but the audience was solid and energetic.

The anti-DNC catcalls that had plagued early stops on the uneasy allies' weeklong unity tour hadn't surfaced. And both Perez and Sanders had delivered fiery speeches that had pumped up the crowd in a key city of a critical swing state.

Sanders was shaking hands with supporters as David Bowie's "Starman" blared.

Updated at 7:15 p.m. ET.

Forty-one Democratic senators have now publicly announced that they will vote against ending debate this week on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court. That means Republicans cannot at this time clear the 60-vote threshold needed to proceed to an up-or-down vote on the nomination. It also sets up an historic vote to end the Senate's filibuster rule for Supreme Court nominees.

Lawmakers from both parties are increasingly convinced that the United States Senate is on a collision course that will permanently change the dynamics of the chamber — and the United States Supreme Court.

There's a growing bipartisan sadness and resignation about next week's showdown over the rules that govern high court nominations. But that doesn't mean there's any serious attempt from either party to avoid it.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

It is Day 3 for Judge Neil Gorsuch and the confirmation hearing that will determine whether he becomes the next justice to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court. Gorsuch spent nearly 12 hours yesterday answering questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee. Democrats on the committee have been doing what they can to grill the judge. Although, at this point, it appears there's little they can do to stop him from getting on the high court. NPR's Scott Detrow has been following the hearings, and he joins us in our studio. Hi, Scott.

"This is the chance. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," said the speaker, roving the stage with a wireless mic, gesturing at both the audience in front of him and the PowerPoint presentation behind him.

TED Talk? Late-night infomercial? Nope — it was House Speaker Paul Ryan, making a hard pitch for his health care plan after a week of loud conservative criticism.

On the eve of the vote for the next chair of the Democratic National Committee, the crowded field is thinning out.

South Carolina Democratic Chair Jaime Harrison dropped out of the race Thursday and endorsed former Labor Secretary Tom Perez. The move comes days after another candidate, New Hampshire Democratic Chair Ray Buckley, exited the race and threw his support to Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota.

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt has been confirmed as the next administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, an agency Pruitt has long criticized.

The Senate approved Pruitt on a 52-46 vote Friday afternoon, with two Democrats — Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota — voting for his nomination. Republican Susan Collins of Maine voted no.

When House and Senate Democrats held a rally Monday night to oppose President Trump's executive order on refugees and immigrants, the crowd wasn't all on their side.

Pockets of, "Do your job!" jeers broke out, as did chants of "Walk the walk."

This week, the House and Senate took the first substantial step toward repealing Obamacare.

Today, Democrats are holding rallies across the country, in an attempt to get some public momentum behind their longshot goal of blocking that effort.

Congressional Democrats are organizing what they call a "Day of Action," with events scheduled from California to Illinois to Maine.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Democrats don't have too many opportunities to set the agenda in Congress right now. They don't decide what bills are called for a vote, and, due to changes in Senate procedures, won't be able to block any of President-elect Donald Trump's Cabinet picks without Republican defections.

One thing Democrats can affect are the headlines coming out of the first wave of confirmation hearings.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

In the midst of multiple fundraising attempts that raised questions about whether the Trump family is selling the promise of personal access to the highest bidder, Eric Trump says he will stop directly raising money for his personal charity.

"As unfortunate as it is, I understand the quagmire," Trump told the New York Times.

Pages