Betsy DeVos nomination for education secretary clears major Senate hurdle

Full Senate vote next week

(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The U.S. Senate held a vote Friday morning on the nomination of Betsy DeVos for secretary of education. 

The billionaire west Michigan native has drawn much criticism since her nomination for a lack of experience and possible conflict of interest. 

READ: A closer look at Betsy DeVos

Republican lawmakers, led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), hoped an early vote Friday would keep Democrats from blocking the vote, and they got what they wanted. The GOP overpowered the Dems, and now there will be a final vote confirmation by the Senate next week. 

However, DeVos' nomination may still be in peril as two Republican senators say they will vote against her. Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) are concerned about what the Michigan billionaire does and does not know about public education. 

"I think Mrs. DeVos has much to learn about our nation's public schools," said Murkowski. 

DeVos faces a full Senate vote. She has 50 votes in her favor right now. If it stays that way Vice President Mike Pence could pass the tie-breaking vote on this cabinet nomination. 

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