Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Vice President Pence Casts Historic Tie-Breaking Vote to Confirm DeVos

For the first time ever, the vice president was called to Capitol Hill to break the tie on a vote to confirm a member of the Cabinet.
Vice President Mike Pence presided over the Senate for the first time since being sworn in just more than two weeks ago, and cast the tiebreaking vote, 51-50, to confirm Betsy DeVos as the next Education secretary. A vice president had never done so before, according to the Senate Historical Office.
That DeVos could not garner support from the Republican-led Senate underscored her weakness as a nominee, Democrats argued.
“She’d come into the department as a very weak secretary of Education,” said Connecticut Sen. Christopher S. Murphy, a member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. “I think to the extent she thought she was going to get major policy changes passed through Congress, that will be made much more difficult.”
But Republicans brushed off questions about whether it was problematic that DeVos barely passed the Senate.
“Not as long as we have the votes, it’s not a cause for concern,” Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn said Monday as the chamber girded itself for an all-night talkathon on the Devos nomination. See more at: Roll Call