Pence Makes History With Vote for DeVos

For first time, a VP casts tie-breaking vote on Cabinet appointee
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 7, 2017 11:35 AM CST
Pence Casts Tie-Breaker, Confirms DeVos for Education
Betsy DeVos will be education secretary.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

It took a tie-breaking vote by Vice President Mike Pence, but the Senate has approved President Trump's nominee Betsy DeVos as education secretary. She will be sworn in later Tuesday. Democrats managed to force a 50-50 tie in the chamber when two Republicans joined them in opposition, which required Pence to make his appearance. It's the first time a vice president has cast a tie-breaking vote to approve a Cabinet appointment, reports the New York Times.

DeVos, a wealthy Republican donor and longtime school choice advocate, emerged as perhaps Trump's most controversial Cabinet pick, per the AP. Labor unions, for example, opposed her nomination, fearing that she will undermine public education by promoting charter schools and publicly funded voucher programs for private schools. (Her answer about bears and guns didn't exactly comfort critics. Nor did written responses to questions that appeared to have come from unattributed sources.)

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