On the same day the Senate confirmed President Trump’s secretary of Education pick by a historically narrow margin, a House Republican introduced legislation to abolish the entire department Betsy DeVos will lead.
Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie’s bill is only a page long, after merely stating the Department of Education would terminate on Dec. 31, 2018.
Massie believes that policymakers at the state and local levels should be responsible for education policy, instead of a federal agency that’s been in place since 1980.
Former President Reagan called for dismantling the Department of Education, along with the Department of Energy. But that proposal ultimately never came to fruition.
Seven other Republicans signed on to Massie’s bill: House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason ChaffetzJason ChaffetzWhen political opportunity knocked, Jason Chaffetz never failed to cash in Chaffetz resting after 'successful' foot surgery Lawmakers reintroduce online sales tax bills MORE (Utah) and Reps. Justin AmashJustin AmashBipartisan push grows for new war authorization The Hill's Whip List: 21 GOP no votes on new ObamaCare replacement bill Oversight Dems want vote on Trump tax return bill MORE (Mich.), Andy Biggs (Ariz.), Matt Gaetz (Fla.), Jody Hice (Ga.), Walter Jones (N.C.) and Raúl Labrador (Idaho).
The Senate confirmed DeVos earlier Tuesday on a 51-50 vote following an all-night session forced by Democrats unanimously opposed to her nomination.
Teachers unions and liberal groups rallied against DeVos, whose family has donated extensively to GOP lawmakers, for her support for charter schools and lack of experience in public education.
Two Republicans, Sens. Susan CollinsSusan CollinsThe Hill's 12:30 Report Overnight Energy: Lawmakers work toward deal on miners’ benefits Schumer: Senate Russia probe moving too slowly MORE (Maine) and Lisa MurkowskiLisa MurkowskiTrump’s Army pick faces tough confirmation fight Republican Sen. Collins considering run for Maine governor in 2018 Alaska senators push bill to allow Arctic drilling MORE (Alaska), voted against DeVos, citing thousands of calls to their offices from people opposed to her nomination.
But the two GOP defections weren’t enough to derail DeVos’s nomination. Vice President Pence cast the deciding vote on DeVos to break a tie.
Pence is the first vice president in history to break a tie on a Cabinet nominee. Tuesday also marked the first time a vice president has broken a tie in the Senate since 2008.