After a bitter confirmation battle, Betsy DeVos has been confirmed as the Education Secretary for President Donald Trump.
The historic vote was split exactly evenly, at 50-50, requiring Vice President Mike Pence to come to the Senate in order to break the tie and cast the final vote. He cast his vote in favor of confirming DeVos and then announced her confirmed, making history as the first vice president who has ever had to cast the tie-breaking vote for a cabinet nomination.
The vote was split down party lines, with not a single Democrat voting for DeVos’ confirmation and two Republicans, Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, voting against DeVos as well. Their defection brought the vote to its historic tie as both senators said that DeVos’ lack of knowledge and experience did not measure up to her stated passion for helping students, since she could not help them if she did not know the laws.
In the final 24 hours before DeVos was confirmed, Democrats held a vigil as they came out onto the Senate floor to restate their reasons for opposing DeVos. Although they were mostly speaking to an empty floor, they hoped that their vigil would sway at least one Republican, which was all they needed to break the tie.
Instead, the tie broke 50-50 down the line, and with Pence breaking the tie, that means DeVos is now our new Education Secretary.