DeVos nomination in trouble as 2 senators announce dissent

Exxon Mobil CEO and chairman Rex W. Tillerson gives a speech at the annual Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition & Conference in Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates on Monday Nov. 7 2016

Sen. Todd Young, R-Indiana, should join Republican senators Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska in voting against the confirmation of Betsy DeVos to lead the Education Department. With Sen. Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska in opposition, the nomination could die if DeVos loses the support of one more Republican - and all Democrats vote against her.

"I have heard from thousands, truly thousands, of Alaskans who shared their concerns about Mrs. DeVos as secretary of education", she said.

If all 48 Senate Democrats vote against DeVos, plus the two Independents who caucus with them, the vote could be split in a 50-50 tie. That could very well mean a 50-50 standoff on the Senate floor - and Vice President Mike Pence being called in to put DeVos over the top.

Betsy DeVos' nomination is in serious trouble as two Republicans have come forward saying they will oppose her as the next secretary of Education.

Collins reportedly said on the Senate floor Wednesday, "I simply can not support her confirmation". The senator announced she'll vote "no" a day after she voted "yes" in the Senate Education Committee to advance the nomination to the full Senate.


According to The Hill, Murkowski spoke after Collins and said she too would be unable to vote for DeVos' confirmation. Criticism of DeVos arose nearly immediately over her staunch advocacy of charter schools and education vouchers, a hardline position foes believe could endanger the USA public education system.

Any hope of that happening through Toomey was buried Wednesday afternoon when a spokeswoman said the senator thinks DeVos is a "great pick". The Senate has 52 Republicans, and DeVos needs 51 for a confirmation. "She's an unbelievably qualified educator, an advocate for students, teachers, and parents".

Washington Democrat Patty Murray, the ranking member on the Senate education committee, released a statement after the Collins and Murkowski comments calling for more time for senators to debate DeVos's experience and qualifications to lead the Department of Education. They also said they're concerned with DeVos' lack of knowledge about a 40-year-old law governing special education.

Critics have questioned DeVos' grasp of overall education policy, as well as her emphasis on using school choice to help students in struggling areas.

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