Betsy Devos squeezes through final confirmation vote

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Sam Falb, Online News Editor

After weeks of controversy and protest regarding President Trump’s nominee for Secretary of the Department of Education, Betsy DeVos has been confirmed. DeVos was confirmed with a 51-50 vote in the senate, testing party lines and taking the highest spot on Twitter’s trending hashtag list soon after the news was announced.

A Michigan native with past leadership roles in the Michigan Republican party branch, Devos is known for her outspokenness on the privatization of much of the public school system, and her large-scale donations to the Republican party and its members.

While DeVos does stand on the board of the Foundation for Excellence in Education and heads up the political action committee All Children Matter, these organizations mostly promote policies such as school choice and charter schools, issues that critics believe will not alone aid DeVos in her role as the latest Secretary of Education, with its wide umbrella of issues related to public schools of which DeVos and her family have never been a part.

In the days leading up to the final vote for DeVos’s appointment, individuals nationwide called in to Congress members’ offices, leaving thousands of voice messages and swaying two Republican senators, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, to the rejection vote. Yesterday, Senate Democrats held the floor for a reported 24 hours, presenting speeches, comments and concerns with their colleagues concerning DeVos’s appointment and how she would affect the country.
When the final tallies were counted, the results were a draw. For the first time in American history, the vice president executed the power of the tiebreaker in a Senate vote. Mike Pence voted in favor of DeVos, drawing to a close a months-long debate and introducing a new era of the Department of Education.

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