Could GOP Defections Cause Stalemate in DeVos Confirmation?

President Donald Trump’s nominee for Education secretary Betsy Devos
President Donald Trump’s nominee for Education secretary Betsy Devos

02 February, 2017

"I couldn't", vote-against-devos-for-education-secretary/?utm_term=.43da7a3789d2" target="_blank">said Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who moments of earlier joined Susan Collins of Maine in telling their colleagues on the Senate floor that they would vote no on DeVos' nomination.

"I'm concerned that Mrs. DeVos's lack of experience with public schools will make it hard for her to fully understand, identify and assist with those challenges", Ms. Collins said. With both Collins and Murkowski voting against DeVos, the vote could end up at 50-50, as no Democrats are expected to vote for her and no other Republicans have so far said they are opposed.

Murkowski, speaking after Collins, said she had too many concerns to back DeVos. Collins laid out her reasons for opposing the appointment of Betsy DeVos. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) as our next attorney general.

Nevertheless her concentration on charter schools and vouchers raises the question of whether or not she fully appreciates that the secretary of education's primary focus must be on helping states and communities, parents, teachers, school board members and administrators strengthen our public schools.

"Additionally, we just received responses to hundreds of written questions yesterday - less than 24 hours before a scheduled vote - and with no time for full review and to ask any follow-up questions", Murray said. Va., another senator from a rural state who opposed federally funded vouchers in the past, would vote against DeVos.

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"DeVos is a major donor to Republican causes who has become one of Trump's most controversial Cabinet picks, drawing unprecedented opposition for a prospective education secretary", The Post reported.

"I will not - I can not vote to confirm her as our nation's next secretary of education", Sen. And while Mrs. DeVos has spent millions to promote school vouchers as a cure-all for our educational shortfalls, there is ample evidence that these programs benefit middle- and upper-income families like Mrs. DeVos' at the expense of families in the greatest need of educational resources. But Senate Democrats have repeatedly requested the vote be delayed so they can hold additional hearings with DeVos. She has spent more than two decades advocating for charter schools in her home state of MI, as well as promoting conservative religious values. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Sen.

Anti-Common Core grassroots groups, however - largely the base of the GOP - have been critical of DeVos' nomination because she has financed and served on the boards of many organizations that promote Common Core.

But the two Republican defections will also put intense pressure on other moderate GOP senators to follow suit as DeVos's opponents continue to swamp the phone lines of congressional offices.

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