After Senate Democrats spoke passionately for 24 hours straight about why they believe President Donald Trump’s nominee to head the Department of Education is unfit for the job and “ill-informed and confused” in the words of Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the full body voted today (February 7). The result: Betsy DeVos is the new secretary of education.
All of the body’s Democrats, Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) voted against DeVos, putting the final tally at 50-50. Vice President Mike Pence immediately cast the tie-breaking vote. The New York Times reports that this is the first time a VP has ever wielded this power to confirm a cabinet nominee.
Senator Bob Casey (D-Pa.), who announced yesterday’s (February 6) #HoldTheFloor action, immediately tweeted about the outcome:
We lost a vote on Betsy DeVos, now we begin holding her accountable. The effort that began with families & students is just getting started.
— Senator Bob Casey (@SenBobCasey) February 7, 2017