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Portman’s Support Proves Critical In DeVos Confirmation

Gage Skidmore/Flickr

Rob Portman followed through on promises Tuesday in voting to confirm Betsy DeVos as the country’s next Secretary of Education. 

The junior Senator from Ohio joined 49 other Republicans and Vice President Mike Pence in voting to confirm Devos. It's the first time a vice president has cast a tie-breaking vote on a cabinet confirmation.

Portman's office was besieged with phone calls and e-mails from people urging him to vote no on the DeVos confirmation. Her critics call her unqualified and point to the fact that neither she nor her children have attended public schools.  

Portman said he did his own research, and found she will be a strong advocate for children and public schools.

“I don’t know that there’s ever been a Secretary or nominee that has such a strong commitment to local control,” Portman said. “For our local school districts, that’s very, very important.”

Portman says he will hold DeVos and all cabinet appointments accountable, but he says a president should be given wide latitude to choose their team.