Alexander-chaired committee approves DeVos as education secretary

With Sen. Lamar Alexander at the chair, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions approved Betsy DeVos’ nomination as U.S. secretary of education Tuesday. All 12 Republicans on the panel voted for it; all 11 Democrats voted no.

From the New York Times report:

Ms. DeVos’s ultimate confirmation, while likely, is still not definite. Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, chairman of the committee, was visibly frustrated — by Democratic delaying tactics and arguments — as he defended Ms. DeVos and said she would be devoted not only to giving parents a choice about school options but also to protecting public schools.

“She wants to reverse the trend of a national school board and stop telling teachers and school boards how to run their schools,” Mr. Alexander said. “One would think the committee would be delighted with that. I respect my colleagues. I don’t question their motives. I don’t question their votes. But I believe their concerns are misplaced.”

But Senator Lisa Murkowski, Republican of Alaska, expressed reservations about Ms. DeVos that sounded similar to those of Ms. DeVos’s opponents. The senator said that while she would vote to advance Ms. DeVos out of committee, she would not commit to voting for her on the Senate floor.

“She has not yet earned my full support,” said Ms. Murkowski, who referred to conversations with Alaska teachers. “Betsy DeVos must show all of us that she truly understands children of all America, of rural, of urban, who are not able to access an alternative choice in education.”

Democrats, teachers’ unions and liberal protesters have been flooding senators with calls and emails protesting her nomination for myriad reasons. They have expressed concern about her family’s contributions to groups that support so-called conversion therapy for gay people; her donations to Republicans and their causes, which she agreed have totaled about $200 million over the years; and her past statements that government “sucks” and that public schools are a “dead end.” (Note: See previous post HERE on a TN protest.)


Alexander’s press release is HERE.

2 Responses to Alexander-chaired committee approves DeVos as education secretary

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


Posts and Opinions about Tennessee politics, government, and legislative news.