Sen. Roger Wicker’s office said the Mississippi Republican’s constituents overwhelmingly supported Betsy DeVos, who was confirmed Tuesday as secretary of education.
“The majority of people from Mississippi who contact Sen. Wicker about President Trump’s cabinet picks want those nominees to be confirmed,” Wicker spokesman Ryan Taylor wrote in an email response to a question about people who contacted the office prior to Tuesday’s 51-50 vote. “That stands consistent with the president’s overwhelming margin of victory in the state last November.”
He said the office did not receive more calls than usual.
Sen. Thad Cochran’s office said Mississippi’s senior senator received a significant number of calls and emails.
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“Over the past two weeks, Senator Cochran’s office received thousands of calls and emails in support and in opposition of the DeVos nomination, both from Mississippians and from other interested Americans,” Cochran spokesman Chris Gallegos said.
Opponents of DeVos had for several days mounted a social media campaign urging people to contact senators in hopes of changing at least one GOP senator’s mind because it would have taken just one more Republican senator flipping to prevent DeVos’ confirmation. Wicker had made it clear he supported DeVos but Cochran had not publicly said he would prior to the vote.
Because of the volume of people who contact senators’ offices and the difficulty tracking phone calls, a more exact tally of how many constituents the senators heard from was not available.
In the end, both senators voted to confirm.
Two Republicans voted with Democrats, which resulted in a 50-50 tie that Vice President Mike Pence broke in an unprecedented vote on a cabinet nominee.
The editorial represents the views of the Sun Herald editorial board. Opinions of columnists and cartoonists are their own.