Vice President Mike Pence cast a historic and unprecedented tie-breaking vote on Tuesday to make Betsy DeVos the new U.S. secretary of education.
The U.S. Senate confirmed the Michigan philanthropist and billionaire on a 51-50 vote, with half of all Senators voting against her confirmation. Never before in our nation’s history has a vice president had to break a tie in the Senate for a president’s cabinet nominee.
What will this mean for education in the United States? And what will it mean for politics here in Michigan?
During her confirmation hearing, DeVos said, “If I’m confirmed, I will not be involved or engaged in political contributions and my husband will not be either.”
The DeVos’ have been “the biggest donating family in the state,” Michigan Campaign Finance Network Executive Director Craig Mauger tells Detroit Today host Stephen Henderson. Most of that money from the DeVos family has gone to Republican candidates and causes.
“That would pull a large sum of money out of our political system,” he says.
But Mauger says it’s also possible that other members of the family could increase their donations to make up for Dick and Betsy DeVos’ absence, or they could continue to give money to political organizations that are not required to disclose their donors.
Click on the audio player above to hear the full conversation.