Thursday, January 26, 2017

Updated Floor Vote Estimate for Betsy DeVos (Secretary of Education) (updated 1/25 1230pm) – Decision Desk HQ Election 2016

Updated Floor Vote Estimate for Betsy DeVos (Secretary of Education) (updated 1/25 1230pm) – Decision Desk HQ Election 2016:

Updated Floor Vote Estimate for Betsy DeVos (Secretary of Education) (updated 1/25 1230pm)

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Thanks to rule changes under Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid back in 2013, a simple majority is enough for Cabinet confirmation votes. Barring a dramatic turn of events, we expect nearly every nominee to be confirmed, the questions outstanding are: how many Democrats cross over and vote yea, how many Republicans defect and vote nay. Advocacy for school vouchers and charter schools have been platform positions of the Republican Party for years, so Betsy DeVos almost certainly gets all of their votes. What about the Senate overall?

The publicized Nays from Senators like Cortez MastoKingMenendezWyden, and Gillibrand make the guesswork a lot simpler. Senators who have conflicted with Mrs. DeVos previously, or who come from states where teachers unions, strongly opposed to a Secretary DeVos, hold significant sway over the Democratic Party, fill in a lot of the not-public-but-pretty-obvious nays. After watching several floor votes and watching those nays, we can also piece together Senators not publicly opposing but who have used identical arguments against other nominees they have already nayed. You’ll notice that there is a stronger inclination for nay among Democrats with this Cabinet position than with the Attorney General. Mrs. DeVos lacks the insulation offered with being a Senator, and as of yet has no public yeas from the minority party. Democratic Senators with no statements or other indicators on the DeVos nomination are left as undecided, but may pile onto the bandwagon and force close to a party-line vote.
Mrs. DeVos is subject to a committee vote on Tuesday. She will likely clear it on at least a party-line vote, and then it’s a matter of scheduling before she makes it to the floor. The question marks we have left include some red state Democrats: Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, but it also includes a few traditionally more liberal members. The final number of Democrats who actually votes for Mr.s Devos can probably be counted on a single hand. It will be interesting to see who breaks ranks.
Update- soon after today’s chart was generated, Senator Joe Donnelly issued a statement that he will be opposing Betsy DeVos. In addition, an avid reader of the Desk emailed us linking to recent statements by Joe Manchin. We have moved him from undecided to no, as our experience has been when Senators in the opposing party repeatedly use the phrase “I might vote against/ uncomfortable/ leaning to oppose”, its a polite way of saying no. The West Virginia Senator is already voting for Jeff Sessions and likely to vote for Rex Tillerson, so he is expected to confirm most of President Trump’s more controversial picks.
Second update- Schatz now also a no on DeVos.
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Please sign the CREDO Petition to keep Betsy DeVos from becoming the next Secretary of Education and Please Call your Senators and demand DeVos be denied Secretary of Ed. 

Tell Your Senator to Vote NO for Betsy DeVos - Network For Public Education -