For a moment, it looked like Democrats might derail the Trump train. The vote on Trump’s Department of Education nominee, Betsy DeVos, looked to be shifting in their favor. Former DeVos ally Corey Booker realized it was no longer politically convenient to care about school choice, and he decided to vote against her. Teacher’s Union Republicans Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski voted in their economic interest. If Democrats could have flipped one more Republican, they would have stopped DeVos.
But they couldn’t. As Townhall reports, Vice President Mike Pence will put DeVos over the top:
Yet, with two GOP defections, the vote on DeVos is now 50-50. It means that Vice President Mike Pence could make history by being the first VP to cast the deciding vote to save a presidential cabinet appointment. Sessions has been in limbo for weeks, but they need his vote to secure DeVos’ confirmation. That meant delaying a vote to confirm him, so the scheduled was yet again altered. The Hill reported earlier today that the vote was to be scheduled for next week, but Sen. Mitch McConnell wants to get a head start of the procedural aspect—the 30 hours of debate—so a final vote can be held late Monday or Tuesday:
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has scheduled a vote at 6:30 a.m. Friday, an unusually early time, to advance Betsy DeVos’s nomination to serve as secretary of Education.
Senate Republicans say they are getting fed up with Democratic obstruction and the extra early vote will allow them to get a head start in running time off the procedural clock.
McConnell is confident he will have the 51 votes he needs Friday to end debate on DeVos.
There’s no other way to frame it: This is a stunning defeat for Democrats. DeVos’ perceived status as a political neophyte and a Republican megadonor who may have purchased a cabinet position made her the most vulnerable of Trump’s nominees, and her inexperience provided cover to Republicans looking to jump ship. They succeeded in getting Republicans to jump ship, and it didn’t matter.
It gets worse. If Devos is successful at implementing an agenda that helps poor and disadvantaged children escape the confines of their zip code to get a quality education, her hearings may be marked as the moment when the Democratic Party abandoned the most vulnerable constituents in America’s inner cities in exchange for teacher’s union dollars.
Another day, another stunning victory for Donald Trump.