After an all-night talk-a-thon protest led by Democrats on the Senate floor, Betsy DeVos was confirmed as President Trump’s Sec. of Education with a 50-50 vote divide. Vice President Mike Pence broke the tie and moved the needle to confirm DeVos.
Last week, Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska (F, 20%) and Susan Collins, R-Maine (F, 10%) said they would join all 48 Democrats in the Senate in voting against DeVos, meaning that if one more Republican defected, the DeVos nomination would sink. However, Democrats were unable to court a third Republican vote against DeVos, leaving her confirmation hanging by a tie vote. It was the first time a vice president has broken a tie to confirm a Cabinet nomination.
The vote followed an all-night protest by Democrats on the Senate floor, where DeVos’ support for vouchers and charter schools was criticized. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. (F, 2%) called DeVos “uniquely unqualified” to be Sec. of Education, on account of her “philosophy against the public schools,” and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. (F, 18%) said “it is difficult to imagine a worse choice to head the Dept. of Education.”
Despite Democrat opposition, DeVos was confirmed and will now be the Sec. of Education. Apparently a pro-school choice Dept. of Education Secretary is the scariest thing Senate Democrats and the powerful teachers’ unions can imagine.
Maria Jeffrey is a correspondent for Conservative Review. Follow her on Twitter @MariaTJeffrey