On Feb. 7, 2017, Betsy DeVos was confirmed to be Secretary of Education. After several weeks of vetting, the Senate votes to confirm were tied; 50-50. Vice President Pence broke the tie confirming her position as Secretary of Education.
This was the first time this vice president was asked to break any tie involving a cabinet nomination. As a result, the final tally was a 51-50 confirmation for her position.
DeVos donated generously to help give more options for charter schools. She does, however, only have limited experience with the public school systems.
Two Republicans voted against DeVos’s position, making some people nervous that the president’s colleagues might not be fully supportive. If the president does not have the full support of his party, there could be a problem when he attempts to pass legislative priorities.
Maine Senator, Susan Collins and Alaska Senator, Lisa Murkowski were against the motion to approve due to DeVos’s prior experience with the schooling systems being limited. The Senators also confirmed that they had received multiple messages asking them to object.
Senator Lamar Alexander, of Tennesse, and former Secretary of Education, was upset with his colleagues for being against DeVos. He claimed they were only opposed because she was nominated by a Republican president.
Many people opposed to DeVos say that they will continue to fight her actions as Education Secretary. They also promised to protest at any public events where she speaks.
Written by Marrissa K.
Edited by Cathy Milne
The New York Times: Betsy DeVos Confirmed as Education Secretary; Pence Breaks Tie
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