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A contentious confirmation for Betsy DeVos, President Donald Trump's pick for Education secretary, will get resolved Tuesday, potentially through the first-ever tiebreaking vote by a vice president for a Cabinet choice.
The Senate vote on DeVos at noon ET could end in a 50-50 tie, and Vice President Mike Pence is expected to use his role to break the stalemate in that case. Republicans hold 52 seats in the chamber, but two moderate GOP senators said they would vote against DeVos amid a flurry of constituent complaints, putting her confirmation in doubt.
Democrats protested DeVos on the Senate floor all night long in a last-minute bid to win at least one more GOP vote, following demonstrations from teachers around the country. Republicans Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska are the only ones in their party to oppose DeVos.
DeVos, a 59-year-old charter school advocate, philanthropist and longtime Republican donor, has faced the most resistance in the Senate of all Trump's nominees. Trump and her supporters have hailed her as a reformist who will give students more choice in their education, but concerns about her qualifications mounted after her confirmation hearing.
Education advocates have seized on the fact that DeVos neither attended public school nor worked in education.