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Were Democrats’ Late Efforts to Block DeVos’ Confirmation Anything More Than Political Theater?

UPDATE (1:11 p.m.): The U.S. Senate has confirmed Betsy DeVos as U.S. secretary of education on a 51-50 vote, with Vice President Mike Pence casting an unprecedented tie-breaking vote. It’s the first time a vice president, in his role as president of the Senate, has cast a tie-breaking vote for a cabinet nominee.

Senate Democrats took to the podium for much of the day on Monday and through the night to try to delay or stop a confirmation vote on Michigan billionaire Betsy DeVos.

They say DeVos is unfit to serve as secretary of education, lacking any experience in the classroom. And they criticize her efforts to promote schools that compete with traditional public schools for students and resources. Two Republican senators have also said they won’t vote in favor of approving DeVos.

Is there anything opponents can do to block her appointment? Is this 24-hour faux filibuster anything more than political theater?

They really can’t stop it,” Reuters reporter David Shepardson tells Detroit Today host Stephen Henderson. ”Realistically, there’s not much of a chance to stop the vote from happening around noon unless they can convince one of the 50 Republicans who have at least not said that they will vote against her.”

Click on the audio player above to hear all of Henderson’s conversation with David Shepardson.

Image credit: U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions

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Detroit Today

Dynamic and diverse voices. News, politics, community and the issues that define our region. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Henderson, Detroit Today brings you fresh and perceptive views weekdays at 9 am and 7 pm.

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