Republican senators won't support DeVos nomination
- Author: Archie Newman Feb 02, 2017,
Feb 02, 2017, 0:58
With Republican Senators Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of ME declaring that they will oppose Betsy DeVos as the U.S. Secretary of Education, only one more vote was needed to prevent her nomination. Murkowski said she's heard from thousands of Alaskans who are concerned that Betsy DeVos lacks public school experience, and Murkowski said she shares that concern.
CNN reports the committee vote was 12-11 in favor of sending DeVos' confirmation to the full Senate, but Alaska Sen.
The is a breaking story. If Republican leadership can maintain the 50-50 tie, then Vice President Mike Pence could break the tiebreaker.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters Wednesday that he had "100 percent confidence" that DeVos will be confirmed, saying the "games" being played with her nomination are "sad".
A vote for final confirmation in the Senate has not yet been scheduled.
Both GOP senators voted to approve DeVos during Tuesday's meeting at the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee and move her nomination to the Senate floor. After recessing, the Wyoming Republican pledged to "do what is necessary" to advance Pruitt's nomination, raising the possibility the GOP majority may seek a rules change to push the issue to a vote before the full Senate.
Update: Per a source close to the situation, they have Sessions' replacement ready to go if they need one for the DeVos vote after Sessions gets confirmed, but at least as of earlier this week, no one has been publicly named. "She is an unbelievably qualified educator and advocate for students, teachers, parents". Her nomination could be rejected if three Republicans join all 48 Democratic senators in voting against DeVos.
Without those two senators on board, and assuming all Democrats vote against DeVos (which seems like a distinct possibility), there are now 50 votes in the Senate against DeVos.
Senator Susan Collins of ME said today on the Senate floor that she "simply can not support her nomination". "I can not support this nominee", Murkowski said. Charter schools are public schools of choice that are authorized by a State Board of Education and operated by independent nonprofit boards.
"Senator Murray and Committee staff work closely with constituents and education advocates to make sure that the people she represents have a voice in this process and have their questions and concerns addressed by the nominees", Zupnick writes.
It initially appeared that DeVos, like many of Trump's other controversial cabinet nominees, would be able to squeak through on a mostly party-line vote.