Senate Ends Debate, Sends DeVos Nomination to Floor for Vote
Progressives of all stripe have mounted an all-out attack on the nomination of President Trump's nomination of prominent Republican donor and school-choice and voucher advocate Betsy DeVos as education secretary. "I could support a nominee who is for expanded options and improvement for all schools, public and private, but I cannot support a nominee who has a reflexive and ideological bias against public schools". The Senate's top Democrat, Charles Schumer, pressed Republicans to consider voting against her over the weekend. If one more Republican sides with Democrats against her nomination, DeVos will become only the 10th cabinet nominee in USA history rejected by Congress. Voting margins are so thin that Pence, as head of the Senate, may have to cast a tie-breaking vote. If the teachers' unions and their allies can defeat the nomination of Mrs. DeVos, and the Republicans substitute someone else more acceptable to the education establishment, a historic opportunity will be lost, and may never come again in this generation.
On Friday morning, the Senate voted 52 to 48 on a procedural measure paving the way to the final confirmation vote, which the education committee chairman, Senator Lamar Alexander, said will happen early in the week.
DeVos's lack of experience and understanding of basic educational policy was evident during her January 17 hearings. She has no direct experience with public education but as Education secretary, she would be making decisions that affect millions of students in public education.
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Democrats, uniformly opposed to DeVos, are expected to oppose her as a block. "Sessions' ability to work effectively with many communities across the country to carry out the important mission of the Justice Department". "Unfortunately, Betsy DeVos wants to dismantle public schools".
Groups like the National Education Association and American Federation of Teachers are strongly opposed to DeVos.
"This grassroots outcry crosses party and geographic lines", Weingarten said. If it comes to a tie, Vice President Mike Pence holds a tie-breaking vote.
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But the tongue-in-cheek GoFundMe campaign called "Buy Pat Toomey's vote" will go toward the next best thing: funding arts and education programs. As of Thursday, she had raised more than $22,000. "Unfortunately, I'm unable to support this bill, and it pains me greatly to say that", he said during a speech after the vote last June.
DeVos, 59, is the wife of Dick DeVos, heir to the Amway marketing fortune.
Senate switchboards have been flooded as constituents across the country have sought to express their opinions on President Donald Trump's nominees. Only 6 percent supported her. "That fictitious grizzly is about as qualified as Ms. DeVos to run the Department of Education", wrote Fritz. "Not having a majority vote when her party controls the Senate and when a member of her party is the White House does not send a signal bipartisan support of her agenda".
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"The president and his team fully understand that a one-size-fits-all education system just does not work", Roberts said. "Where she may be starting under controversial conditions, the fact remains that Democrats will have a very hard time blocking her agenda and actions as education secretary".
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Jan 28 2017