Betsy DeVos, President Trump’s highly controversial nominee for U.S. education secretary, has been officially confirmed, despite a wave of opposition from public school backers and Democrats nationwide.
As expected, Vice President Mike Pence arrived on the Senate floor Tuesday afternoon to cast the tie-breaking vote to confirm DeVos, a Michigan school advocate whose wealthy family has been an influential donor to Republican causes.
DeVos prompted widespread criticism over a lack of professional experience in public schools, as well as alleged plagiarism on a Senate questionnaire and her oft-bizarre responses to questioning from Democratic critics during her confirmation hearings last month.
But she still gained the support of most Republicans, including North Carolina’s GOP contingency, Sen. Richard Burr and Sen. Thom Tillis. Policy Watch reported days ago that Burr was a major recipient of DeVos campaign funding in recent years.
DeVos opponents reportedly swamped senators’ offices with phone calls demanding they turn back President Trump’s nominee.
The new education secretary sent out a Tweet applauding her confirmation minutes after Tuesday’s historic vote, which was reportedly the first time a vice president has had to cast a tie-breaking vote for a Cabinet nominee.
I appreciate the Senate’s diligence & am honored to serve as @usedgov Secretary. Let’s improve options & outcomes for all US students.
— Betsy DeVos (@BetsyDeVos) February 7, 2017
The social media response to DeVos’ confirmation was swift and mostly critical. Here’s a sample:
Betsy Devos got confirmed. Everyone who voted for her should be ashamed. Party before country. They’re using children’s education as pawns.
— Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) February 7, 2017
— David Samples ? (@NatureGuy101) February 7, 2017
Congratulations Betsy DeVos our New Sec Edu!
You can’t stop TrumpTrain!
All Dems obstruction, crying & boo-hooing is for naught!#DeVosvote
— Victorious Annie? (@Anncostanza1) February 7, 2017
Betsy DeVos confirmed. Next election, Who else will remember that the senate sold out our schools to the oligarchy?
— Taylor Sappington (@IdealsWin) February 7, 2017