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Senate Votes to Confirm Betsy DeVos as Secretary of the Department of Education

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On Tuesday, after 24 hours of debate from Democratic Senators on the Senate floor, Republican and Democratic Senators met to vote on Betsy DeVos’ nomination for Secretary of the Department of Education.

DeVos, nominated by Donald Trump, has had a rocky road to confirmation. At her Senate confirmation hearing, DeVos was criticized for her views regarding public education including her lack of understanding regarding federal protections for students with disabilities. In the weeks that followed, educators and parents called and petitioned their lawmakers in record numbers, asking they vote “no” at DeVos’ final confirmation vote.

Prior to voting, Republican Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), announced they would not vote for DeVos, putting the anticipated vote at 50 for and 50 against. (To be confirmed, DeVos needed a simple majority, 51 Senators, to vote in her favor.)

Wednesday’s final Senate vote was tied with 50 voting for and 50 against. Vice President Mike Pence was called in to break the tie and voted for Betsy DeVos, making her the next Education Secretary.

Originally published: February 7, 2017
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