February 7, 2017 by Tom Hesse
Three weeks after appearing before the U.S. Senate’s education committee, Betsy DeVos was finally confirmed as education secretary in the administration of President Trump.
As expected, Ms. DeVos cleared the Senate on a 50-to-50 tie that was broken by Vice President Mike Pence. The vote followed an unusually contentious confirmation process in which Senate offices were swamped with constituents’ calls, and came on the heels of a 24-hour protest by Senate Democrats on the floor of the chamber.
The Michigan billionaire faced strong opposition over her support for charter schools and concerns that she was not familiar with the public education system. After clearing the Senate’s education committee, Ms. DeVos lost the votes of two Republican senators, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine. Those departures meant that Mr. Pence had to cast the tiebreaking vote as president of the Senate.