These two GOP senators can’t bring themselves to vote “yes” on confirming Betsy DeVos.
Betsy DeVos as head of the U.S. Dept. of Education? Not if GOP Senators Sen. Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) can help it. In most matters — including confirmations for President Donald Trump’s cabinet nominees — Republicans march in lockstep. But Betsy DeVos is so grossly unqualified to run the DOE, two GOP senators have announced they’re voting “no.”
The Hill reports Susan Collins was the first to break ranks with Donald Trump and the GOP. She cited concerns about Betsy DeVos’ “apparent lack of familiarity” with a “landmark 1975 law” guaranteeing public education for children with special needs.
— Connie Weaver (@connie_weaver) February 1, 2017
Sen. Lisa Murkowski then followed with an announcement that she, too, opposes having Betsy DeVos lead the DOE.
— Boston Bobblehead (@DBloom451) February 1, 2017
For starters, the head of this agency needs to be more focused on public schools than the charter schools DeVos so actively promotes.
“I have serious concerns about a nominee to be secretary of Education … who has been so immersed in the discussion of vouchers. I do not intend to vote on final passage to support Ms. DeVos to be secretary of Education.”
This puts Betsy DeVos’ confirmation at risk. Since no Democrats plan on voting to confirm Trump’s DOE pick, this means the vote will be tied at 50-50. Although that would allow VP Mike Pence to break that tie in her favor, if another Republican defects, DeVos is toast.
This is unlikely but still possible. WPTA21 reports Alaska’s Sen. Dan Sullivan still hasn’t given a solid commitment and told the AP, “Well, I’ll let you know when I vote.” This may have something to do with the concerns he’s voiced for remote rural schools in parts of his home state where school choice won’t help kids, because “there is no choice at all.”
WATCH: Sens. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski say they’ll vote “no” on Betsy DeVos for DOE head.
Featured image: Video screen grab via Wochit News.