After Democrats staged a last-ditch 24-hour filibuster in an effort to block Betsy DeVos, Vice President Mike Pence cast a tie-breaking vote that got her confirmed as education secretary on Tuesday in a historic 51-50 vote.
The billionaire donor was arguably President Trump’s most embattled Cabinet appointment, but Senate Republicans have so far not broken ranks with the new commander in chief.
DeVos, who was recently mocked on “Saturday Night Live,” is considered to be short on public school experience by many Democrats. Pence’s vote was the first by a vice president to break a tie on a Cabinet nomination.
DeVos was widely ridiculed for her performance during the confirmation hearing, with teachers unions and civil rights activists upset because of her support of charter schools and her conservative religious beliefs.
President Trump has stood by her, tweeting, “Betsy DeVos is a reformer, and she is going to be a great Education Sec. for our kids!”
Last week, “SNL” made news when Melissa McCarthy portrayed Press Secretary Sean Spicer, but the skit also featured DeVos, portrayed by Kate McKinnon.
DeVos is portrayed as a bumbling fool by McKinnon, who also played Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton throughout the 2016 campaign.
DeVos is from Michigan, a wealthy donor who helped champion charter schools and vouchers. Her experience in public schools is extermely limited — the main reason why she was a divisive pick to be the top government official for the country’s schools.