DeVos Clears Committee With Zero Democratic Votes

April AlvarezFeb 01, 2017

Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins both questioned DeVos's commitment to public education, with Murkowski saying that DeVos's "one-sided" involvement in the education world raise questions about whether she was aware of "what's broken in our public schools".

Although her vote in Senate committee was originally scheduled for last week, it was delayed so lawmakers would have more time to review the paperwork she filed with the Office of Government Ethics, according to media reports.

DeVos' nomination now moves to a full Senate vote for which a date has not been set. She passed after Sen. Which is to say that, despite fiery opposition from Democrats and teachers' unions, DeVos appears to be headed to confirmation.

Then, in answer to another question about her views on LGBTQ students, DeVos responded, "Every student deserves to attend school in a safe, supportive environment where they can learn, achieve and thrive and are not discriminated against".

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"I don't mean to be rude, but do you think if you were not a multi-billionaire, if your family has [sic] not made hundreds of millions of dollars in contributions to the Republican Party that you would be sitting here today?"

On Tuesday, it was revealed that some of the written responses that Donald Trump's education secretary nominee, Betsy DeVos, delivered to the Senate may have been lifted from other sources without attribution, as reported by the Washington Post.

Fox 59 said in DeVos's defense that over 1,000 questions were answered in her name, which means that there is a likelihood that some staffers and aids helped answer them.

Other Republicans pushed back on her behalf. "To level an accusation against her about these words included in responses to almost 1,400 questions - 139 alone from the ranking member - is simply a desperate attempt to discredit Betsy DeVos, who will serve the Department of Education and our nation's children with distinction if confirmed", said Trump education adviser Rob Goad.

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DeVos - a longtime supporter of school vouchers and charter schools in her native MI - has galvanized supporters and opponents alike. DeVos is married to Amway heir and former head Dick DeVos and both will apparently cease funding Republican politicians and efforts if she is confirmed as expected. Patty Murray of Washington, the ranking Democrat on the committee.

Thomas Crowley, a protester, said, "We need to protect our public schools and I don't think Betsy DeVos is the person we can count on to do that".

As to those who complained that DeVos' experience is too far out of the mainstream, Alexander said, "Does anyone really expect President Trump to appoint someone from inside the education establishment?"

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