DeVos confirmation squeaks through Senate

08 February, 2017, 00:13 | Author: Ora Austin
  • Betsy DeVos

Backing her are 50 Republican senators, including Portman, while another 50 senators, nearly all Democrats and including Ohio's Sherrod Brown, oppose her.

Last month the US Senate Committee for Health, Education, Labor and Pensions voted 12-11 to approve DeVos as education secretary, clearing the way for a full Senate vote on the nomination.

Ultimately, only Republican senators Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska joined the Democrats and two independents in opposition to Ms DeVos.

Senate Democrats spent the 24 hours leading up to the vote hosting a "talkathon" on the Senate floor.

The last tie-breaker vote occurred in March 2008 when then-Vice President Dick Cheney weighed in as Congress worked on a federal budget, according to the Secretary of the Senate.

Other Senators questioned DeVos' competency to guide the country's education system, suggesting that her family background detached her from public realities. Her gross lack of experience was brought to light most recently by Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, who put DeVos knowledge to the test during the nationally-televised confirmation hearings in January. "Education is a foundational concept for our democracy, our communities, our economy and really the future of the United States, and my hope is that she can work more toward MA in terms of how to have really strong public schools and access to them for all students".

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The debate over Betsy DeVos followed senators home this weekend as protests popped up outside the state offices of several GOP members.

DeVos was nominated by Trump on November 23 for the office of Secretary of Education, she is a MI native who has been a long-time donor for the Republican Party.

The nomination of Alabama Sen. DeVos and Trump's new administration, he said, represent a "paradigm shift" that he believes will result in positive, widespread changes in both public and private education systems.

"Betsy DeVos is so, so unqualified to be the secretary of education", said Cleveland Teachers Union President David Quolke.

The U.S. Senate is set to vote on the nomination of Betsy DeVos on Tuesday.

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