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Miguel Cardona, President Biden’s nominee for education secretary, took a major step Thursday toward his likely confirmation by the Senate. Six Republicans joined 11 Democrats in supporting Cardona, as the Senate education committee voted to back the nomination, 17 to 5.

The vote came after Cardona, most recently Connecticut’s education commissioner, faced largely light questioning during his confirmation hearing last week.

Senator Richard Burr, the panel’s top Republican, said in backing the nomination at Thursday’s hearing that he will be supporting Cardona in the upcoming vote by the full Senate.

“He has the background, qualifications and temperament to serve as secretary of education,” said Burr, of North Carolina.

Burr said he was comforted by Cardona’s statements about the importance of reopening schools during the pandemic, that “one-size-fits-all” national mandates are not effective and that there are some excellent examples of charter schools.

“We won’t agree on everything, but we should be able to find places where we can agree,” Burr said.

Senator Patty Murray, the Democrat from Washington State who chairs the committee, backed Cardona, saying that he’s “well qualified” and “ready to work with Congress.”

Voting against Cardona, though, were Republican senators Mike Braun, of Indiana; Roger Marshall, of Kansas; Tim Scott, of South Carolina; Tommy Tuberville, of Alabama; and Rand Paul, of Kentucky.