US Senate on 7th
Feb 2017 confirmed school choice advocate Betsy DeVos as Education secretary by the narrowest of margins.
Vice-President Mike Pence was instrumental in breaking a 50-50 tie in a historic vote.
Two Republicans joined Democrats in the unsuccessful effort to derail the nomination.
The Senate historian said Mr. Pence’s vote was the first by a Vice-President to break a tie on a Cabinet nomination.
It is the first time in US history that a cabinet appointed has required a Vice-Presidential tie-breaker.
This is attesting to the fraught mood in Washington DC after a contentious election.
Two Republican Senators, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska joined 46 Democrats and two Democrat-caucusing Independents, in an effort to scupper DeVos confirmation.
DeVos is a long-time Republican and is a billionaire from one of Michigan's wealthiest families.