|Vice-president Mike Pence|
For the first time in history, the vice-president was required to cast a tie breaking vote in order to confirm a president's cabinet nominee.
Billionaire Betsy DeVos, who has spent many years promoting a voucher system for America's schools but has no formal experience or training in education, was approved today in the U.S. Senate by a vote of 51-50.
The New York Times reports:
Two Republicans voted against Ms. DeVos’s confirmation, a sign that some members of President Trump’s party are willing to go against him, possibly foreshadowing difficulty on some of the president’s more contentious legislative priorities. It was the first time that a vice president has been summoned to the Capitol to break a tie on a cabinet nomination, according to the Senate historian.
The two Republicans who voted against the nominee, Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, announced their opposition to her last week. In back-to-back floor speeches, the lawmakers said Ms. DeVos was unqualified because of a lack of familiarity with public schools and with laws meant to protect students, despite her passion for helping them.