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Sen. Todd Young votes to confirm Betsy DeVos, vote moves to full Senate

Posted: 1:41 PM, Jan 31, 2017
Updated: 2017-01-31 14:36:51-05
Sen. Todd Young votes to confirm Betsy DeVos, vote moves to full Senate

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Sen. Todd Young (R-IN) voted to confirm Betsy DeVos as Donald Trump's pick for U.S. Secretary of Education Tuesday morning.

Young, along with others on the U.S. Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, voted along party lines, with Republicans voting yes and Democrats voting no.

DeVos was confirmed in the committee at first, but questions were raised afterward, due to Sen. Orrin Hatch's vote by proxy. The vote was confirmed, 12-11, and DeVos's nomination will move to the full senate.

Many senators spoke about their decision before the vote was cast, but Young did not.

As of 1:30 p.m., Young has not released a statement on his vote.

Many Senators discussed the "thousands" of calls and letters to their offices from constituents. Young's office said it's policy to not release the number of calls received. 

Last week, Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN) announced he would oppose DeVos in a full Senate vote. 

PREVIOUS | Sen. Joe Donnelly to oppose Betsy DeVos for U.S. Secretary of Education

"I am concerned she will not prioritize efforts that are important to Hoosier families, like: expanding access to early childhood education, improving our public schools, and empowering student borrowers and reducing federal student loan debt," Donnelly said in a statement.

DeVos' confirmation hearing was contentious at times when she was interviewed by Senate Democrats.

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When she was questioned by Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, DeVos declined to answer whether she believed in applying the same standards to public, charter and private schools.

"I support accountability," DeVos said four times. When asked directly if she declined to answer the question, DeVos simply said: "I support accountability."

She was also pressed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts on her lack of experience in financial aid or higher education.

Republicans seemed satisfied with DeVos' answers.

ALSO | Democrats leave DeVos hearing with more questions than answers

"You came into my office, and before I ever asked a question, in several minutes, you convinced me that you were passionate about making sure that every child had a chance at a successful education," North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr said.

DeVos has been a major funder of Indiana's school voucher movement. Her family has given millions of dollars to the American Federation for Children, which has then donated money to proponents of voucher programs.

RELATED | Betsy DeVos has been major donor in Indiana school voucher push