The Senate on Tuesday confirmed Betsy DeVos to lead the Department of Education by the slimmest of margins, capping off a rocky, high-stakes fight for President Trump’s pick.
Vice President Pence cast the rare deciding vote on DeVos, breaking a 50-50 tie after Republican Sens. Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski(Alaska) became the first senators to oppose a Trump Cabinet pick, joining all Democrats.
The Hill reports,
Pence is the first vice president ever to cast a decisive vote on a Cabinet nominee. The last time a VP broke a tie in the Senate was 2008, when then-Vice President Dick Cheney voted on a tax adjustment plan.
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) made a failed 11th-hour plea Tuesday morning for a third Republican to buck the party and sink DeVos’s nomination.
“It’s the Republican side demanding a vote for an unqualified candidate,” the Senate’s top Democrat said. “I hope against hope that another Republican will have the courage … [to] join us.”
Schumer suggested Republicans are privately saying they wish Trump picked someone else, calling DeVos a “negative trifecta.”
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