The Senate early Friday broke a Democratic filibuster blocking the confirmation of Betsy DeVos as the next education secretary, voting 52-48. A confirmation vote could happen as early as Monday morning, but leadership likely will not rush one until the whip count is certain.
Democrats have sought to block Mrs. DeVos, as well as nearly all of President Donald J. Trump’s Cabinet members in an unprecedented obstruction that has caused the breakdown of etiquette and rules in the U.S. Senate. The Senate vote on Mrs. DeVos was the earliest to take place since the new Congress reconvened after the Nov. election.
DeVos is a school-choice champion, education advocate and philanthropist, who has pushed for national education reform for more than two decades. The Michigan native spent more than two decades helping unprivileged children gain quality education and served as the chairwoman of the American Federation for Children.
The group’s stated mission is to “improve our nation’s K-12 education by advancing systemic and sustainable public policy that empowers parents, particularly those in low-income families, to choose the education they determine is best for their children.”
Republicans Senate chairman suspended rules after Democratic members boycotted committee votes on the nominations of Jeff Sessions, Scott Pruitt, Steve Mnuchin and others. However, DeVos is the only Cabinet pick who is in danger of not eventually being confirmed due to party defections.
Vice President Mike Pence will serve as the tie-breaking vote when the nomination goes to the full Senate, after every single Democrat announced they would also vote not to confirm.