And as expected, VP Mike Pence broke the tie today on the confirmation of GOP megadonor Betsy DeVos's bid to buy a cabinet seat, and she will be Education Secretary.
The Senate on Tuesday confirmed Betsy DeVos to lead the Department of Education by the slimmest of margins, capping off a rocky, high-stakes fight for President Trump's pick.
Vice President Pence cast the rare deciding vote on DeVos, breaking a 50-50 tie after Republican Sens. Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski(Alaska) became the first senators to oppose a Trump Cabinet pick, joining all Democrats.
Pence is the first vice president ever to cast a decisive vote on a Cabinet nominee. The last time a VP broke a tie in the Senate was 2008, when then-Vice President Dick Cheney voted on a tax adjustment plan.
Pence arrived at the Capitol around approximately 11:30 a.m., but waited in the wings until the vote was tied at 50-50 to take over the presiding chair and cast the deciding vote.
The vice president — and former lawmaker — chatted with GOP senators on the floor after the vote, and shook hands with Sen. Ted Cruz.
Pence is expected to meet with Senate Republicans during their closed-door weekly policy lunch on Tuesday afternoon.
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) made a failed 11th-hour plea Tuesday morning for a third Republican to buck the party and sink DeVos's nomination.
“It’s the Republican side demanding a vote for an unqualified candidate,” the Senate’s top Democrat said. “I hope against hope that another Republican will have the courage … [to] join us.”
Schumer suggested Republicans are privately saying they wish Trump picked someone else, calling DeVos a “negative trifecta.”
But good news everyone, my own Congressman Thomas Massie has a solution to DeVos!
I just introduced a bill to abolish the federal Dept of Education: https://t.co/hcYr2QzIfI #EndFedEd— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) February 7, 2017
Won't that be fun?