Betsy DeVos Vote: What happens if the Senate splits 50-50 on Trump's education secretary nominee?

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) questions Betsy DeVos, President Donald Trump's pick to lead the Department of Education.
Source: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) questions Betsy DeVos, President Donald Trump's pick to lead the Department of Education.
Source: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Senate is expected to vote Tuesday on Betsy DeVos, President Donald Trump's pick for secretary of education, following a 24-hour protest by Democrats on the Senate floor.

DeVos, a billionaire charter school advocate, was called "incompetent" and an "amateur" by Democrats during their all-nighterTwo Republicans have vowed to vote against her confirmation, likely splitting the vote 50-50. 

This means Vice President Mike Pence will have to break the tie as president of the Senate; he will almost certainly vote to confirm DeVos.

Protesters on Capitol Hill demonstrate against Betsy DeVos on Monday.
Source: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Prior to Tuesday's vote, there have been 244 occasions on which the vice president has had to break a Senate tie. The last time was in 2008, when Dick Cheney broke a tie on a budget resolution. Joe Biden never cast a tie-breaking vote. 

So while DeVos is likely to be confirmed, the rare tie-breaking vote makes her path to the Cabinet unusually rocky.

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Eric Lutz

Eric is a staff writer covering news for Mic. He lives in Chicago and can be reached at ericlutz@mic.com.

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