Senate Confirms Cardona as Education Secretary

By Hugh T. Ferguson, NASFAA Staff Reporter 

Miguel Cardona’s nomination to lead the Department of Education (ED) was confirmed by the Senate Monday evening with broad bipartisan support.

The chamber, by a vote of 64-33, confirmed President Joe Biden’s pick to lead the department with 14 Republicans joining Senate Democrats to approve the nomination.

The following Republican Senators voted in favor of the nomination:

  • Richard Burr (N.C.)
  • Shelley Captio (W.V.) 
  • Bill Cassidy (La.)
  • Susan Collins (Me.)
  • John Cornyn (Texas)
  • Deb Fischer (Neb.)
  • Chuck Grassley (Iowa)
  • Ron Johnson (Minn.)
  • Mitch McConnell (Ky.)
  • Lisa Murkoski (Alaska)
  • Rob Portman (Ohio)
  • Mitt Romney (Utah)
  • Marco Rubio (Fla.)
  • Thom Tillis (N.C.)

The markedly bipartisan approval of Cardona largely avoided the challenges that plagued his predecessor's confirmation.

Sen. Patty Murray, (D-Wash.) chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) committee, praised Cardona and argued that his experience would help students, parents, and educators work through the ongoing crisis imposed by the coronavirus.

“From early education to higher education, we need to make sure students and their families have the support they need to not only get a high-quality education, but to make sure every student can thrive,” Murray said on the Senate floor before casting her vote in favor of Cardona’s nomination. “At this moment of crisis, Miguel Cardona is exactly the leader we need at the Department of Education to tackle these challenges.”

Cardona also received praise from Republicans for his qualified leadership.

“We won't agree on everything, but we should be able to find places where we can agree, and we can move forward,” said Sen. Richar Burr (R-N.C.) who serves as ranking member on the Senate HELP Committee, during Cardona’s confirmation hearing. “I support the nomination of Dr. Cardona and I look forward to working with him.”

On Wednesday, First Lady Jill Biden is scheduled to travel to Cardona’s hometown in Connecticut.

The Senate will now turn to additional agency officials like James Kvaal, who was recently nominated by Biden to serve as ED under secretary.

Stay tuned to Today’s News for more on Biden’s ED appointments and nominations.


Publication Date: 3/2/2021

You must be logged in to comment on this page.

Comments Disclaimer: NASFAA welcomes and encourages readers to comment and engage in respectful conversation about the content posted here. We value thoughtful, polite, and concise comments that reflect a variety of views. Comments are not moderated by NASFAA but are reviewed periodically by staff. Users should not expect real-time responses from NASFAA. To learn more, please view NASFAA’s complete Comments Policy.

Related Content

Applying for PSLF? Federal Higher Ed Leaders Have a Guide


Today's News for May 9, 2022


View Desktop Version