Betsy DeVos’ nomination for education secretary is headed to the full Senate for a vote. Republicans outnumber Democrats in the chamber by 52 to 48, so on a party line vote DeVos should be safe. But where could anti-DeVos forces pick up a crucial third vote against the nominee and overcome the tiebreaker vote held by Vice President Mike Pence? They could look to senators who’ve expressed skepticism about a crucial education policy priority for DeVos: school choice.
We know that two GOP lawmakers on the Senate education committee, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine and Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, have said they’re concerned about DeVos and haven’t committed to voting for her in the full Senate.
First, let’s assume all 48 Democrats vote against DeVos. Let’s also assume, solely for the sake of argument, that Collins and Murkowski ultimately vote against DeVos. (They very well may not.) That makes it 50-50. So one more vote against DeVos eliminates Pence as a tiebreaker vote and dooms DeVos’ nomination. Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., has been confirmed by the Senate judiciary committee to be attorney general, but he hasn’t been confirmed by the full Senate. So as of now, he can still vote on DeVos…
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