Pence plans to use tie-breaking vote to confirm Betsy DeVos for education post
The vice-president blamed the first-ever tie for a cabinet nominee on ‘obstruction by Democrats’ despite two Republican defections causing the situation
Vice-president Mike Pence said on Sunday he expects that the billionaire Republican donor Betsy DeVos will be confirmed as education secretary with his tie-breaking vote.
Pence blamed the tie on DeVos in the Senate – the first-ever on a cabinet nominee – on “obstruction by the Democrats”, despite the fact that two Republican defections have caused it.
Speaking on Fox News Sunday, Pence said the Trump White House was “very confident that Betsy DeVos is going to be the secretary of education”.
He added: “It would be my high honor to cast the deciding tie-breaking vote on the floor of the Senate next week.”
Two Republicans, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, have said they will vote against DeVos, citing concerns from parents and teachers.
DeVos has also faced fierce criticism from labor unions for her promotion of school choice and regarding the spending of public money on private schools. Democrats and teachers’ organizations accuse her of seeking to dismantle public education.
Her appearance before the Senate committee on health, education, labor and pensions last month was widely criticised, after she refused to say if she would uphold Obama administration guidelines on handling campus sexual assault and said guns might be needed in schools due to the threat of “potential grizzlies”.
Chris Murphy, a Democrat from Connecticut, where the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting left 20 children and six adults dead, asked DeVos if she would support a Trump campaign promise to end gun-free school zones. She said: “I will support what the president-elect does.”
DeVos added: “If the question is around gun violence and the results of that, Pence plans to use tie-breaking vote to confirm Betsy DeVos for education post | US news | The Guardian:
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