Vice President Mike Pence could make history today with a vote to confirm Betsy DeVos

Vice President Mike Pence speaks at the annual March for Life event.
(Image credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Vice President Mike Pence is expected to cast a tie-breaking vote in the Senate on Tuesday to confirm Betsy DeVos as education secretary, despite the protests of Democrats and two Republicans. If it is necessary for Pence to step in, it will be a moment for Senate history — never before has a vice president been the tie-breaking vote on a Cabinet nomination, Bloomberg Politics reports.

Vice presidents rarely step in to swing votes in the Senate, with just 241 tiebreakers cast since 1789, a rate of about one a year. The last tie, though, was nearly nine years ago, when former Vice President Dick Cheney broke a 50-50 deadlock on a procedural vote related to the federal budget. Former Vice President Joe Biden never cast a tiebreaker.

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