WASHINGTON–The Senate has confirmed school choice activist Betsy DeVos as Education secretary, with Vice President Mike Pence breaking a 50-50 tie.
The Senate historian says it was the first time a vice president had to break a tie on a Cabinet nomination.
Two Republicans joined Democrats Tuesday to vote to derail DeVos’ nomination. Democrats cited her lack of public school experience and financial interests in organizations pushing charter schools. DeVos has said she would divest herself from those organizations.
Republicans Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska fear that DeVos’ focus on charter schools will undermine remote public schools in their states.
In an earlier tweet, President Donald Trump wrote “Betsy DeVos is a reformer, and she is going to be a great Education Sec. for our kids!”
Senator James Lankford from Oklahoma voted for DeVos but admitted his office received hundreds of calls and letters from Oklahomans who do not support the pick. KFOR received a copy of a letter sent by Lankford’s office confirming this correspondence.
We received more than1,000 phone calls and letters on the nomination of Mrs. Betsy DeVos. It is common to receive that type of feedback on a hot political issue that is receiving national media coverage. Our office policy is to not disclose the content of our constituent correspondence to respect the privacy of those that contact our office. The Senator appreciates feedback from constituents and respects any Oklahoman that calls, visits, or writes his office to voice their opinion.
“Oklahomans elected President Trump by a very wide margin, and therefore, they want the president to build his cabinet and government. Senator Lankford believes that millions of Americans have elected this president, and he therefore deserves to hire his team.” –Aly Beley, Spokesman, Senator James Lankford (R-OK)
Senator Jim Inhofe also voted in favor of DeVos.
Click here for a break down of the full vote