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Democrats’ Petty, Last-Ditch Effort to Block Betsy DeVos’ Confirmation

After a party-line 12-11 vote, Democrats tried to argue one senator’s vote didn’t count…

Members of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) voted Tuesday morning to confirm Betsy DeVos, President Trump’s pick for Education Secretary.

But then a funny thing happened on DeVos’s way to a full Senate vote. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), who was attending another hearing, this one for Sen. Jeff Sessions to be confirmed as attorney general, voted in DeVos’ favor by proxy. Democrats on the HELP Committee objected and began calling for another vote on another date.

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), the chairman of the HELP Committee, ruled that Hatch’s vote did, indeed, count, but that prompted ranking member Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) from submitting a motion to overturn that ruling. “As expected, Murray’s motion to overturn Chairman Alexander’s ruling” was voted down.

Democrats’ theatrics forced the committee to revote, this time with Hatch present.

Surprise, surprise – the revote concluded in the same result as the initial vote. DeVos’ confirmation moves on to the full Senate for a vote next.

Despite Democrats best efforts to derail DeVos’ nomination, the lifelong education advocate sailed through committee and will likely face no serious threat to her full Senate confirmation. It is, however, the latest example of Democrats’ attempts to do anything in their limited power to throw the brakes on Trump’s nominees.

Watch the vote here:

The following committee members voted in favor of DeVos’s nomination:

Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN)

Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY)

Senator Richard Burr (R-NC)

Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA)

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY)

Senator Susan Collins (R-ME)

Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA)

Senator Todd Young (R-IN)

Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT)

Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS)

Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AL)

Senator Tim Scott (R-SC)

The following committee members voted against DeVos’s nomination:

Senator Patty Murray (D-WA)

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT)

Senator Bob Casey (D-PA)

Senator Al Franken (D-MN)

Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO)

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)

Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)

Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT)

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)

Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA)

Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH)