Betsy DeVos confirmed as secretary of education

Democrats spent the past 24 hours trying to derail her nomination.
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The U.S. Senate confirmed Betsy DeVos as the secretary of education.

Vice President Mike Pence was the tie-breaker in Tuesday's vote after the Senate was split 50-50 in her confirmation hearing Tuesday, The New York Times reports. All but two Republicans voted in favor of DeVos.

DeVos was confirmed after what the Los Angeles Times called "unprecedented opposition," which included Democrats spending the 24 hours leading up to the vote trying to convince just one more Republican to cross the aisle and vote "no." They argued DeVos was highly unqualified for the job and she'd be a poor advocate for students with disabilities and families with low incomes.

Minnesota Sens. Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar were among the Democrats who were very outspoken against DeVos as the next secretary of education. Franken released a statement soon after DeVos was confirmed, saying: "It's not a job for amateurs who don't know the first thing about education ... she is the most incompetent cabinet-level nominee I have ever seen."

Franken criticized Republicans for not setting aside party loyalty to properly vet DeVos, adding she has "demonstrated that she is fundamentally unqualified to lead the Education Department, and it's a shame that Republicans voted to confirm one of their major donors instead of looking out for our children."

Those who support DeVos have described her as a tireless champion of school choice, and say her passion for education cannot be understated.

One of the Republican senators who pledged to support her is Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, who said he’s backing her partly “because of her support for local control, instead of having the federal government dictate education policy at the state and local level,” the Highland County Press reports.

Michigan Republicans praised her nomination too, saying it shows Trump is serious about building an education system that puts “kids first and parents in the driving seat,” MLive reports.

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