Senate Committee Clears DeVos for Final Confirmation Vote

Well this is all more than a little ironic

The U.S. Senate held a vote Friday morning on the nomination of Betsy DeVos for secretary of education.

Two Republican senators - Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska - have said they will vote against her, meaning the Senate is split 50-50 on her nomination if the rest of those voting do so along party lines as expected.

The resolution, which is available to read in full on the district's website, cited DeVos's lack of experience with public schools as a reason for opposing her confirmation.

She has drawn the fire of teachers unions for her support for charter schools and taxpayer-funded vouchers for private education.

In arguing against DeVos' nomination, Democrats said they still have deep concerns about DeVos' financial entanglements, despite her reaching an agreement suitable to the nonpartisan Office of Government Ethics to divest herself of more than 100 investments. "I have a great deal of respect for Mrs. DeVos", Collins said on the floor on Wednesday afternoon. "We'll be swapping a national school board for what she believes in, which is a local school board".

Lisa Murkowski. Sen. Angus King, an independent, announced last week that he would oppose the DeVos nomination.

The resolution also referred to DeVos's performance at the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee confirmation hearing.

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Democrats have vigorously opposed DeVos, questioning her commitment to public education, knowledge of federal education law and her overall qualifications to lead the Education Department.

If she had said no, Democrats would have attacked her as being in favor of sexual assault.

But, in the email quoted by the Voice, Toomey communications director E.R. Anderson said Toomey regarded DeVos as a "champion of school choice", while adding that the Senator "does appreciate the feedback from folks in Philadelphia and across Pennsylvania". "She appears to view education through the lens of her experience promoting alternatives to public education in Detroit and other cities".

A spokeswoman for Brown, Jenny Donohue, said he had also received tens of thousands of calls and letters from constituents who want the Cleveland Democrat to vote "no" on DeVos-something he committed to two weeks ago.

A few hours later, he announced his support for her. 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. Data show that they perform only marginally better than traditional public schools.

A GOP megadonor from Michigan, DeVos is a huge advocate for charter schools and voucher programs, which members of both parties expressed concerns about.