VP May Break Senate Deadlock on DeVos

Despite a full night of debate, opposition, and public protest, the Senate is poised to confirm Michigan GOP donor Betsy DeVos, President Trump’s nominee for education secretary. Most expect the vote—scheduled for noon Tuesday—to pass by a narrow margin, with Vice President Mike Pence possibly breaking a 50-50 tie. Democrats spent the night in marathon speaking sessions in a show of opposition to DeVos, a billionaire who was publicly ridiculed after her confirmation hearing went poorly. (Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) called it the “most embarrassing” confirmation hearing he’s ever attended.) “Mrs. DeVos demonstrated a complete lack of experience in, knowledge of, and support for public education. She was unable to address basic issues that any New Hampshire school-board member could discuss fluently,” said Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH). Some protesters overnight wore grizzly bear costumes inspired by DeVos’s comment during her hearing that some schools might need guns to defend against bear attacks. Many constituents who were not gathered outside the Capitol spent the evening jamming their representatives’ phone lines. Two GOP senators, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine, have announced they will oppose DeVos.