Despite Republican defections and a staunch Democratic defense, Betsy DeVos has been confirmed as the Secretary of Education for Donald Trump’s administration. The final vote was 51-50, with Vice President Mike Pence casting the tie-breaking vote.
Republicans Lisa Murkoski and Susan Collins were the two Republicans who voted against DeVos, thereby making the tie-breaker necessary. It is the first time in the history of the Senate that the Vice President has had to cast a tie-breaker for a Cabinet nomination.
The DeVos nomination has been the fiercest battle fought during Trump’s transition. Democrats have been far more overwhelmingly negative toward her than many of Trump’s other nominees. Education reform advocates have overwhelmingly been in support of her, however, while many of her critics are also recipients of major donations from teachers unions across the country.