Senate Democrats Are Holding A Filibuster To Protest Betsy Devos
Feb 07 2017 by Irving Hamilton
Seante Democrats mounted a marathon debate Monday decrying the nomination of billionaire school choice advocate Betsy DeVos, to lead the U.S. Department of Education, ahead of a vote on her nomination, expected Tuesday. Patty Murray, D-Wash., said Monday.
That concern was amplified by an answer given by DeVos during her hearing regarding her stance on using tax dollars to fund voucher programs for schools that do not adhere to federal accountability and anti-discrimination standards.
Two Republicans, Lisa Murkowski (AK) and Susan Collins (ME) joined their Democratic colleagues in vowing to vote against DeVos. If that happens, Vice President Mike Pence would cast the tie-breaking vote to confirm DeVos - a development that would be unprecedented for a presidential Cabinet nomination. Either she's the first cabinet official in history to need the vice president to serve as a tie-breaker, or she's Donald Trump's first nominee voted down. A final vote for DeVos is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon and Democrats plan to hold the floor until that time. Susan Collins of ME declared on the Senate floor earlier this week.
Henderson argues that one can not describe DeVos as an advocate for children when, in reality, she is more focused on developing the "industry" of education.
She added that thousands of MI residents of all stripes had emailed, called her office and approached her in public to urge her not to support DeVos.
Broad ended his letter by again encouraging McConnell and Schumer to oppose DeVos' nomination.
Fisher says every citizen has the right to protest and do it respectfully and she says the protests outsider her office and calls to her office have been respectful. According to BetsyDeVos.com, her official website, DeVos is a grandmother, with four children and five grandchildren.
Stephen Henderson of the Detroit Free Press encapsulated Democrats' main objection to the Michigan GOP mega donor in a recent editorial: "Largely as a result of the DeVos' lobbying, Michigan tolerates more low-performing charter schools than just about any other state".
In kicking off the talkfest, Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer pleaded with one more Republican to put "country before party".
"I am troubled and surprised by Mrs. DeVos' apparent lack of familiarity with the landmark 1975 law, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act", she added.
"DeVos" failure to meet even minimum standards leaves us with no choice but to speak out", the two said, citing her investment in Neurocore, "a biotech company that claims to have "helped thousands of children' with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder". He is the only Republican running for re-election in 2018 from a state that Trump lost.