Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Two Republican senators says they aren’t committed to voting for Betsy DeVos on Senate floor - The Washington Post

Two Republican senators says they aren’t committed to voting for Betsy DeVos on Senate floor - The Washington Post:

Two Republican senators says they aren’t committed to voting for Betsy DeVos on Senate floor





Two Republican senators —  Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska — said Tuesday they are not yet committed to voting for Michigan billionaire Betsy DeVos for U.S. education secretary on the Senate floor. They became the first Republicans to say so.
It was the first time that any Republican senators said they might not vote for President Trump’s nominee, who is the most polarizing education secretary nominee in the department’s history.
Collins and Murkowski made the comments during a meeting of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. The committee’s members are scheduled to vote shortly on Trump’s nomination of DeVos, whose supporters praise her for being a longtime advocate of school choice who has helped low-income students find alternatives to failing public schools. Her critics say her education advocacy is aimed at privatizing the country’s public education system. They point out that she has called public schools a “dead end,” a remark she made in 2015.
Collins, often seen as more moderate than other Republicans on Capitol Hill, said she would vote for DeVos in the committee so that the nomination would be sent to floor of the Senate so all senators can vote.
Actually, the nomination would have been sent to the floor for a full vote by the chairman of the committee, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) even if the committee voted against DeVos. But Collins said she felt that any president has a right to have all senators consider  nominations.
Democrats say they have 48 votes against DeVos on the floor but need 51 — and they have been looking for Republican votes against DeVos since her Jan. 17 hearing, where she displayed little understand of some key education issues.
Collins said she was keeping her options open in regard to DeVos for the full Senate vote.
Now let me make clear that I know that Mrs. DeVos cares deeply about children. I recognize that she has devoted much time and resources to try and improve the education of at-risk children in cities whose public schools have failed them. And I commend her for that service.
Like all of us, Mrs. DeVos is the product of her experience. She appears to view education through the lens of her experience in promoting alternatives to public education in Detroit and other cities where she has no doubt done valuable work.
Nevertheless her concentration on charter schools an vouchers raises the question of whether or not she fully appreciates that the secretary of education’s primary focus must be on helping states and communities, parents, teachers, school board members and administrators strengthen our public schools
That is why I wrote to Mrs. Devos seeking her assurances in writing that she would not support any federal legislation mandating that states adopt vouchers nor will she condition federal funding on the presence of voucher programs inTwo Republican senators says they aren’t committed to voting for Betsy DeVos on Senate floor - The Washington Post: 




Leaders of Senate education committee go to war with each other before DeVos vote
They used to work together well. Not anymore.


Senate panel votes in favor of Betsy DeVos, Trump’s education secretary pick
Committee members tussle over the vote. DeVos’s nomination now goes to the full Senate for approval.



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