Senate approves Obama education chief
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The Senate approved John King's nomination to lead the Department of Education on Monday. 

 
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While King got bipartisan support, he and the department earned flack from some Republicans ahead of Monday's vote. 
  
Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.), who previously had a hold on King's nomination, said he couldn't support him because he had yet to receive "full answers" from the Department of Education on a myriad of issues. 
 
He, noted, however that he appreciated King's "dedication to bettering our nation's schools" and said he had an "impressive record." 
 
Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeOvernight Health Care: Trump officials to allow work requirements for Medicaid GOP senator: CBO moving the goalposts on ObamaCare mandate Cornyn: Senate GOP tax plan to be released Thursday MORE (R-Utah), separately, called King the "standard bearer of No Child Left Behind," asking, "Do we really think that someone who has spent more time in a government agency than a classroom is best suited to oversee federal education policy?" 
  
Sen. Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderObamaCare becomes political weapon for Democrats Senate passes resolution requiring mandatory sexual harassment training Sen. Warren sold out the DNC MORE (R-Tenn.), who chairs the Health, Education, Pensions and Labor Committee, fired back that while Lee gave an "excellent speech" for having a Republican president Democrats currently control the White House. 
 
"The reason we're voting today is because we need an education secretary... confirmed by and accountable to the United States Senate so that the law to fix No Child Left Behind will be implemented the way Congress wrote it," he added. 
 
Congress passed legislation late last year overhauling the Bush-era education law, which had earned frustration from both parties for years. 
 
Obama nominated King in February after initially indicating that they wouldn't formally send him through the Senate. Alexander says he promised the president that King would get a "prompt" hearing. The HELP Committee approved his nomination last week. 
 
Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenBipartisan group of lawmakers aim to reform US sugar program Schumer: Dems want DACA fix in government spending bill The Hill interview — DNC chief: I came here to win elections MORE (D-Mass.) used last week's committee meeting to warn that she would vote against King's nomination unless she got "direct answers" on what King would do to help students who are struggling with student loan debt. She noted Monday that King has "committed to a top down review" of student loan programs and the department's oversight of financial institutions. 
 
"This is not the end of the story. Dr. King has an enormous amount of work to do to get the department's higher education house in order and the American people will be watching closely for results," she said. 
 
Republicans were under pressure from outside groups to vote against King's nomination, with Democrats unable to get him confirmed with out GOP help.
 
Heritage Action sent out a notice late last week, saying that it "opposes the nomination of John King and will include it as a key vote on our legislative scorecard." 
 
The group has also called on Republican senators to reject any non-national security nominee and senators are currently battling over the GOP strategy to deny the president's Supreme Court pick from getting a hearing or vote. 
 
 
"We're trying to be as helpful to the administration as we can on those appointments the president is making for people who will serve in the administration. Our hope is that they will not be serving this time next year," he told reporters earlier this month.