Another day, another grim historical first for America. The Senate just confirmed Betsy DeVos as education secretary after a 'historic tiebreaking vote' from Vice President Mike Pence.
Both DeVos and Pence are fans of widely discredited LGBT 'conversion therapy,' a damaging and inhumane bullshit practice we'll probably see a lot more of now, along with guns in schools to protect kids from grizzly bears and jihadists.
Just two Senate Republicans voted against DeVos: Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, both of whom came out as opposed to the nominee last week. Lawmakers gave continuous speeches on the Senate floor late into the night Monday, arguing that DeVos was unqualified because she knows nothing about public schools or basic laws of our country that protect the rights of students, among many other well-documented reasons that mean nothing anymore because facts don't matter and there is no God.
Senators Collins and Murkowski said their opposition was 'influenced by the thousands of messages they had received urging them to reject the nomination,' the New York Times reports. Keep calling, keep emailing, keep faxing, keep demonstrating in the streets. Your voice matters, even if this battle was lost when it began.
In addition to the two Republican senators from Alaska, Democrats and two independents voted in opposition. In the end, 50 Republicans supported her in the 100-member chamber.
On Twitter, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer dissed the unprecedented move by Pence to break that Senate tie vote.
"This cabinet nom is so unqualified, so divisive, that @MikePenceVP had to drive down Pennsylvania Ave to cast the deciding vote," he tweeted right after the vote.
The 51-to-50 vote elevates Ms. DeVos — a wealthy donor from Michigan who has devoted much of her life to expanding educational choice through charter schools and vouchers, but has limited experience with the public school system — to be steward of the nation’s schools.
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. Taking the gavel as the vote deadlocked at 50-50, Mr. Pence, a former member of the House, declared his vote for Ms. DeVos before announcing that Mr. Trump’s nominee for education secretary had been confirmed.
Keep track of Trump's cabinet assembly with this regularly updated Reuters graphic.
PHOTO, TOP: Betsy DeVos testifies before the Senate Health, Education and Labor Committee confirmation hearing to be next Secretary of Education on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., January 17, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas