The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) on Tuesday morning approved Betsy DeVos’s nomination to lead the Department of Education.
DeVos was confirmed 12-11 along party lines. Her nomination will now go to the Senate floor, where she’ll need only need a simple majority to be confirmed.
The Hill reports,
The billionaire GOP donor faced a contentious hearing earlier this month when Senate Democrats questioned her commitment to public education and grilled her on her conflicts of interest.
DeVos stumbled on some questions, notably when Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) asked her about a contentious debate within education policy circles.
But Republicans on the committee praised her education credentials, signaling that she won’t have an issue getting through the GOP’s 52-seat majority in the upper chamber.
The executive session for the HELP Committee had been postponed one week, giving senators more time to review DeVos’s letter to the Office of Government Ethics in which she outlined how to avoid conflicts of interest.
Democrats repeatedly asked for a second round of questioning at her hearing, but HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) denied the request and only gave himself and Murray additional time.
Senate Democrats pushed for a second hearing, writing in a letter to Alexander that they were “extremely disappointed” by the first one. The Tennessee Republican rejected holding another hearing.
In the days leading up to the hearing, Franken said that no Democrats would vote for DeVos and liberal groups jammed senators’ phone lines with thousands of calls urging them to oppose her nomination.
Read more at The Hill