Published: Thu, February 02, 2017
USA | By Cassandra Hanson

Toomey pops left's bubble - will back Trump education nominee Betsy DeVos

Toomey pops left's bubble - will back Trump education nominee Betsy DeVos

Republican Sens. Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) have indicated that they will vote oppose DeVos' confirmation.

"Her concentration on charter schools and vouchers however raised the question about whether or not she fully appreciates that the security of education's primary focus must be on helping states and communities... strengthen our public schools", Collins said. Assuming all of the Senate's 48 Democrats also oppose DeVos, that means she'd have 50 yes votes and 50 no votes if no other Republicans oppose her, with Vice President Mike Pence potentially breaking the tie, the Hill reports. Sen.

Did Collins and Murkowski go "RINO", as charges on social media allege? With Sessions out of the Senate, Republicans would only have 49 votes for Trump's nominee, and her nomination would fail.

Betsy Devos is clinging to the Education Department with a single finger.

"I will not - I can not vote to confirm her as our nation's next secretary of education", Sen.

Commentary: Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall announced that he will vote against confirming Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education.

After many of Trump's nominees sailed through their confirmations in recent weeks, the names now before the Senate were meeting resistance.

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A GOP megadonor from Michigan, DeVos is a huge advocate for charter schools and voucher programs, which members of both parties expressed concerns about. In her hearing, she declined to commit to Title IX gender discrimination protections put in place by President Obama.

Did I say "may have"? With no education background and a longstanding commitment to getting kids out of public schools, DeVos drew so much resistance that Georgians could not even get through on several days to their senators to leave messages.

"I think she's a awful choice for all children in public schools, and children with autism especially", says David Mandell, professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania.

DeVos pivoted a week later, however, stating in a letter to a Georgia senator that she will uphold the special education law.

Still, DeVos' supporters - on the right and the left - argue she is getting undue scrutiny from Democrats in Congress. During the committee vote, ranking Democrat Patty Murray referenced the apparent plagiarism while criticizing DeVos.

"I have 100 percent confidence that she will be the next secretary of education", Spicer said at a daily White House press briefing. Murkowski also voiced hesitation toward DeVos's emphasis on school choice, saying it's hard to implement in rural areas.

Senate rules require a simple majority of 51 votes for cabinet appointees.

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