WASHINGTON -- No, Sen. Pat Toomey isn't going to sink Betsy DeVos' nomination.
Liberal groups hoped Wednesday they could pressure the Pennsylvania Republican into casting a decisive vote against DeVos, President Trump's pick to lead the Department of Education, and thus deny her confirmation.
Every last GOP vote became critical when two Republican Senators, Maine's Susan Collins and Alaska's Lisa Murkowski, announced they would oppose DeVos' nomination. One more defection, combined with unified Democratic opposition, would have blocked the controversial nominee.
Online, liberal groups urged supporters to pressure Toomey and other Republicans from moderate states. But Toomey, who had previously praised DeVos, quickly dashed that idea.
"I don't know where the mystery came from — I'm a big fan of Betsy DeVos," Toomey told reporters at the Capitol. "I will absolutely be voting for Besty DeVos."
GOP aides told Politico they expect all other Republicans to also stand behind the nominee, allowing her to squeak by her Senate confirmation. If all Democrats oppose her, as is widely expected, the vote would be 50-50, allowing Vice President Pence to break the tie.