Mike Pence casts tie-breaking vote for 9th time

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Washington (CNN)Vice President Mike Pence cast his ninth tie-breaking vote in the Senate on Wednesday to save the confirmation of Russell Vought to be deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Vought had some controversial writings in his past related to Islam, which were brought up during his confirmation hearing.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent, specifically took issue with a post Vought wrote in January 2016 about a fight at his alma mater, Wheaton College.
The Christian liberal arts college fired a political science professor named Larycia Hawkins for a Facebook post she wrote that was intended to express solidarity with Muslims.
    In the post, Vought wrote, "Muslims do not simply have a deficient theology. They do not know God because they have rejected Jesus Christ his Son, and they stand condemned."
    The Senate, by 50-49, Pence casting the tie-breaking vote, confirmed Vought to the position Wednesday.
    Republicans control 51 seats in the chamber but two GOP senators were not present to vote: Sen. John McCain, who's battling cancer in Arizona, and Sen. Mike Rounds of South Dakota.
    As president of the Senate, the vice president has a unique relationship with the upper chamber and can cast a tie-breaking vote in the rare event the Senate is evenly split. Since the 1870s, each vice president has done this fewer than 10 times during his tenure.
    While Pence has been vice president, Republicans have maintained only a thin margin over Democrats in the Senate, which increases the likelihood of a tie.