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Pence Casts Vote To Confirm Betsy DeVos as Education Secretary

Regardless the attemps by Democrats in the final hours, the U.S. Senate voted on Tuesday to confirm Betsy DeVos as the next secretary of education. DeVos’ nomination faced fierce opposition from Democrats, and two Republican senators—Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine—had previously said they would vote against DeVos. After those GOP defections, the vote ended in a 50-50 tie, and Vice President Mike Pence—who also serves as the president of the Senate—cast the tie-breaking vote in favor of DeVos. It was the first time in history that a vice president had to vote in a cabinet confirmation to break a tie. In an unsuccessful last-minute push, Democrats held the Senate floor overnight Monday into Tuesday in an effort to convince other Republican senators who were on the fence to vote against DeVos. After the vote, DeVos wrote on Twitter: “I appreciate the Senate’s diligence & am honored to serve as @usedgov Secretary. Let’s improve options & outcomes for all US students.”

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