Senate confirms Biden's Education secretary

Senate confirms Biden's Education secretary
© New York Times/Pool

The Senate on Monday confirmed President BidenJoe BidenBiden nominates Mark Brzezinski to be U.S. ambassador to Poland 10 dead after overloaded van crashes in south Texas Majority of New York state Assembly support beginning process to impeach Cuomo: AP MORE’s pick to lead the Department of Education.

Senators voted 64-33 on Miguel CardonaMiguel CardonaBiden celebrates anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act Biden's Education Department must choose accountability or a 'Marbury v. Madison' moment Biden administration cancels .6M in student loan debt for fraud victims MORE, a former teacher who previously served as education commissioner in Connecticut, to be Biden’s secretary of Education. He is succeeding Betsy DeVosBetsy DeVosBiden Education Department hires vocal proponent of canceling student debt Erik Prince involved in push for experimental COVID-19 vaccine: report Biden administration reverses Trump-era policy that hampered probes of student loan companies MORE, who served under former President TrumpDonald TrumpMajority of Americans in new poll say it would be bad for the country if Trump ran in 2024 ,800 bottle of whiskey given to Pompeo by Japan is missing Liz Cheney says her father is 'deeply troubled' about the state of the Republican Party MORE.

Cardona was voted out of committee on Feb. 11, with five Republicans opposing his nomination at the time. He's one of at least two Cabinet picks the Senate is expected to confirm this week.

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He faced a slew of questions about operating schools during the coronavirus during his confirmation hearing, including not taking a firm position on standardized testing during the pandemic.

Cardona is poised to take over the department as schools nationwide are grappling with how and when they can have in-person learning again as a growing number of Americans become vaccinated but cases are still prevalent.

And the vote comes as Congress is in the middle of a debate over another round of coronavirus aid, with Republicans seeking to weaponize closed schools against Biden and congressional Democrats.

Cardona pledged during his hearing that the administration would "work to reopen schools safely."

The Washington Post reported last month that Cardona, in his role as Connecticut's Education commissioner, pushed to reopen schools.

Biden has vowed to reopen most K-8 schools within his first 100 days of being in office.

"I think many of them five days a week. The goal will be five days a week," he said during a CNN town hall last month.