The reaction to Betsy DeVos' confirmation as education secretary on Tuesday was fast and mostly furious

By Tierney McAfee
Updated February 07, 2017 08:28 PM
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BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty

The reaction to Betsy DeVos‘ confirmation as education secretary on Tuesday was fast and mostly furious, with celebrities and Democratic politicians unleashing outrage on social media, and a sprinkling of supporters — including President Donald Trump and Jeb Bush — congratulating DeVos on her narrow win.

Despite a rare, all-night protest by Senate Democrats on Monday night that carried into Tuesday morning, DeVos was confirmed by Senate in a 51-50 vote, with Vice President Mike Pence casting a historic, tie-breaking ballot.

DeVos, a wealthy GOP donor, has been widely criticized for weeks for her multiple conflicts of interest and her apparent lack of knowledge of basic education policy.

As DeVos was confirmed on Tuesday, hundreds of New York City high school and college students walked out of class and gathered in Manhattan’s Foley Square in protest of Trump and his executive order temporarily banning refugees and people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. According to Gothamist, the protesters also booed DeVos’ coinciding confirmation after one student speaker shouted, “Betsy DeVos was confirmed today despite her shameful inexperience and complete lack of understanding for the very job she seeks.”

Others took to social media to speak out against DeVos’ confirmation.

Meanwhile, the president took to Twitter to congratulate his controversial pick for education secretary:

His presidential primary rival, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, also voiced his support for DeVos, as did former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

DeVos herself address the Senate’s heated debate over her nomination in a tweet following her confirmation.

“I appreciate the Senate’s diligence & am honored to serve as @usedgov Secretary. Let’s improve options & outcomes for all US students,” she wrote.