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Secretary of Education nominee Betsy DeVos clears major Senate hurdle

The margin was extremely close.


David Gilmour


Published Feb 3, 2017   Updated Feb 3, 2017, 8:45 am CST

Betsy DeVos cleared another hurdle on her way to securing a place on President Donald Trump’s cabinet on Friday morning when the Senate voted to advance her nomination.

Trump’s top pick to lead the Department of Education split the Senate 52-48 on a vote to end debate over her nomination. Not one Democrat senator voted for DeVos.

DeVos, a GOP mega-donor, has faced significant opposition since announced as a cabinet nominee. The billionaire from Michigan is a strong advocate of school choice, charter schools, and publicly-funded tuition vouchers. Teacher unions and Democrats have questioned her suitability for the job and say she poses a threat to the public school system.

After two Republican senators announced on Wednesday that they would oppose DeVos’ confirmation, political opponents had hoped to block the nomination from going forward by securing a third GOP senator.

This was unsuccessful, however, and despite the extremely narrow margin, DeVos will now face a final confirmation vote that is expected to occur on Monday. 

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*First Published: Feb 3, 2017, 8:28 am CST