"It is clear to me that Betsy DeVos is the wrong choice to lead our nation's department of education," Sen. Patty Murray said.
"She's tried a lot of different things. She's criticized today because she tried," Sen. Richard Burr said.
"It is hard to imagine a candidate less qualified or more dangerous," Sen. Elizabeth Warren said.
After a very heated debate, a Senate panel voted to approve President Donald Trump's nominee for education secretary, Betsy DeVos.
But it was a close vote. The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee ultimately decided 12-11, along party lines, to move the nomination to the full Senate.
But DeVos will likely face another tight vote on the Senate floor. Democratic senators have already expressed fierce opposition to her nomination.
At least two Republican senators on the committee are still on the fence. Sens. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski said they have lingering worries about DeVos as the secretary of education.
DeVos needs approval of 51 senators to be confirmed. The GOP holds 52 seats, while Democrats and independents have 48.
So if both Collins and Murkowski decide to vote against DeVos, the Democrats would still need one more "no" vote to quash her nomination, since Vice President Mike Pence holds the tiebreaking vote.
The date of the full Senate vote on DeVos has yet to be announced.