Senate Republicans pushed ahead in dramatic fashion today with the confirmation of Betsy DeVos as secretary of education, despite weeks of vocal opposition from constituents in Central Ohio and across the country.
Vice President Mike Pence, in his role as Senate tiebreaker, cast the deciding vote to send the billionaire — who owes millions of dollars to Ohio taxpayers — to President Donald Trump’s cabinet.
Sen. Rob Portman followed through on his announced intent to vote for DeVos, citing her “support for local control” of education decisions. Portman recently came under fire for his support of DeVos’ nomination after it was revealed he has accepted more than $50,000 in campaign contributions from the DeVos family.
Sen. Sherrod Brown voted against DeVos’ confirmation.
— Eden (@eden_in_ohio) January 31, 2017
The scene outside Portman’s offices in recent weeks left no doubt about the statement many constituents were making in response to DeVos’ nomination. Protesters demonstrated peacefully in response to DeVos’ record of destabilizing public schools, lack of experience in any public education setting and lack of knowledge of federal regulations regarding students with disabilities.