Today the Senate confirmed Betsy DeVos as President Trump’s education secretary, 51-50. It was Vice President Pence who had to cast the unprecedented tie-breaking vote that has since sent the Internet reeling with displeasure. The Senate offices have reportedly received upwards of 1.5 million phone calls from angry constituents. Two Republicans defected and Democrats held the floor overnight in protest.
DeVos is disliked by Democrats (and many Republicans) for the role of Education Secretary for a number of valid reasons. For one, she isn’t being particularly supportive of Title IX, a rule from 2011 that requires colleges to take an active role in preventing sexual assault. DeVos is dismissive of a “free tuition” proposal by Democrats to make college more accessible for more Americans — DeVos dismissed the proposal by saying, “There’s nothing in life that’s truly free.” Perhaps most famously, DeVos doesn’t necessarily believe that schools in the United States should be gun-free zones. You can read a more comprehensive list of reasons why Betsy DeVos isn’t well-liked as Education Secretary here on NPR.
Watch Senators Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Tim Kaine, and Al Franken question Betsy DeVos’s qualifications for the (huge, incredibly important) job below.