Friday, February 3, 2017

Schumer: DeVos 'unfit' for Education secretary | TheHill

Schumer: DeVos 'unfit' for Education secretary | TheHill:

Schumer: DeVos 'unfit' for Education secretary

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Thursday blasted Betsy Devos, saying the Education secretary nominee is an example of the issues that Democrats have with most of President Trump's picks.
"Many of the nominees have philosophies that cut against the very nature of the department to which they are nominated," he said. "We're in unchartered waters with this administration." 
The New York Democrat said DeVos noting "didn't know basic facts about Education law" during her confirmation hearing. 
"When you judge her in three areas — conflicts of interest, basic confidence and ideology, views on Education policy, it is clear that Betsy DeVos is unfit for the job of Education secretary," he said. "In all three areas... she ranks among the lowest of any cabinet nominee I have ever seen." 
DeVos, a GOP mega-donor, has been the subject of fierce opposition from teachers unions and other liberal groups opposed to her support for charter schools and tuition vouchers using public funds. 

Democrats also hounded Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, for limiting the amount of time senators had to ask questions of DeVos during her confirmation hearing. 
Schumer said he was making an "educated guess" on Thursday that Alexander "knew how incompetent this nominee was, how poorly she fared under normal questioning, and the idea was to rush her through." 
He blasted the White House for having to rely on Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), Trump's nominee for attorney general, and Vice President Pence to get DeVos through the upper chamber.  
"The White House will in effect get two deciding votes in the Senate on a nominee to the president's cabinet," he said, noting the two will be "casting the deciding votes."  
Republicans have a 52-seat majority, and GOP Sens. Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) have said they will not support DeVos's nomination during the final vote. No Democrat has publicly backed DeVos.
The final vote on DeVos could end up being the first time a vice president has been the deciding vote on a nomination. The Senate is expected to Schumer: DeVos 'unfit' for Education secretary | TheHill: