Pence set to break Senate tie on DeVos vote to head Education

Vice President Mike Pence could make history Tuesday by breaking an expected tie in the Senate to confirm Betsy DeVos as U.S. education secretary, barring a last-minute defection by a single additional Republican to kill the nomination outright.

The nail-biter is the unexpected first test of Democrats’ ability to thwart President Donald Trump’s agenda, gathering momentum after two Senate Republicans said they wouldn’t support DeVos, a longtime GOP donor. The prospect of a 50-50 tie could make Pence the first vice president in U.S. history to cast a tie-breaking vote on a Cabinet post.

As Democrats grind the Senate to a near-halt by stalling all of Trump’s Cabinet picks still awaiting confirmation, DeVos has generated the most heat in the 52-48 chamber.

On Monday, Democrats began a campaign to speak for 24 straight hours in the hope of pressuring another Republican to vote against her.