GOP senators oppose DeVos as education secretary

Maine Senator Susan Collins a republican said she opposes the confirmation of Betsy DeVos

Republican Senators Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska announced Wednesday that they will vote against confirming Betsy DeVos, President Trump's pick to be secretary of Education.

In back-to-back speeches from the Senate floor, a pair of Republican senators on Wednesday broke rank and said they'd oppose the nomination of Betsy DeVos as Education secretary.

Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of ME both said on Wednesday that they would oppose DeVos's nomination.

Liberal groups hoped Wednesday they could pressure the Pennsylvania Republican into casting a decisive vote against DeVos, President Trump's pick to lead the Department of Education, and thus deny her confirmation. If there is a tie, Vice President Mike Pence casts the deciding vote, which will give DeVos the job.

"I have 100 percent confidence she will be the next secretary of education".

According to Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) no Democrat is going to support DeVos.


Roll Call reported that in light of the increased risk to her confirmation, Republicans rushed to move DeVos' confirmation vote ahead of that for Sen. In other words, Collins will vote to allow the Senate to debate DeVos, but she now says she will not vote for her to be confirmed. "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".

Although if Collins and Murkowski are joined by any other Republicans in voting no and she does not earn any Democratic votes, DeVos would not be confirmed.

Collins called it a "very hard decision", but repeated that she was "troubled and surprised" by DeVos's apparent lack of familiarity with federal law related to students with disabilities. The upshot: There are a few Senate Republicans who appear not to be big fans of vouchers, at least at the federal level.

"I was trying to get to yes, I couldn't", Murkowski said. The stated philosophy of the multi-level marketing juggernaut based in a Grand Rapids suburb could apply to her brand of public education: "Personal opportunity and economic opportunity go hand in hand".

Opponents of DeVos are concerned that the voucher system she advocates would deprive public schools of already-scarce public funding, particularly for disabled students and young people in impoverished school districts.

"I know that Mrs. DeVos cares deeply about children".

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