The historic vote comes in the wake of Senate democrats' staging a 24-hour protest on the floor of the U.S. Senate, where they delivered speech after speech slamming Trump's pick to lead the department of education. Backing her are 50 Republican senators, including Portman, while another 50 senators, nearly all Democrats and including Ohio's Sherrod Brown, oppose her. They'll keep speaking until 9 tomorrow morning, when a final vote to confirm Betsy DeVos's nomination is scheduled. Republicans had only 50 votes backing DeVos with the defections of GOP Senators Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski despite a last minute party push to rally support.
DeVos's confirmation vote is scheduled for noon Tuesday and will likely be an incredibly close vote.
Pence's vote was in accordance with his post as president of the Senate.
In one exchange at her confirmation hearing, Senator Al Franken of Minnesota asked DeVos whether test scores should measure a student's proficiency or their growth over time - an argument at the center of the education reform debate.
Senator Chuck Schumer called her answers at her senate confirmation hearing "embarrassing", saying her lack of knowledge surrounding federal education laws means she "failed to make the grade". Others back her for her stance on school choice. The Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation are strong supporters of pro-life organizations like Michigan's Foundation for Traditional Values and Right to Life of MI.
Ms DeVos has been an advocate of charter schools, which operate independently of school districts and frequently are run by corporations.
The National Education Association has come out against the nomination, claiming that DeVos "has consistently pushed a corporate agenda". The hundreds of thunderous rallies, the flood of phone calls, and the deluge of millions of emails in opposition to the DeVos' nomination deny the Trump administration a mandate to take over our public schools.
DeVos is a long-time Republican and is a billionaire from one of Michigan's wealthiest families.
Meghan McCain said today on "Outnumbered" that the intense backlash and vitriol against Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has been "a little sexist".