Published: Thu, February 02, 2017
National | By Miranda Cannon

Manchin to vote against DeVos' confirmation

Manchin to vote against DeVos' confirmation

Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) announced Wednesday they would not support the billionaire in a full Senate vote. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, decided Wednesday to vote against Betsy DeVos's nomination for Secretary of Education is nearly as notable as the decision itself. That places the deciding vote with Vice President Mike Pence, who would nearly certainly break the tie in DeVos' favor.

"The Republican majority on the Senate HELP Committee made a critical mistake today".

Billionaire philanthropist Betsy DeVos, already known as one of the most controversial nominees for education secretary in USA history, now risks a rare congressional rejection.

DeVos is a Republican education activist, has served as Republican National Committeewoman for MI, and board member for the Foundation for Excellence in Education, according to U.S. News.

"Voting for Betsy Devos is putting partisanship ahead of Kansas, is putting partisanship ahead of children and their education, and Jerry really needs to put Kansas first", Desetti said.

"I will not, I can not vote to confirm her as our nation's next secretary of education", Ms. Collins said.

DeVos' nomination barely squeaked through a Senate committee vote on Tuesday, with both Collins and Murkowski saying they voted yes only so the entire Senate could debate the matter.

Senate Republicans need at least 50 votes to confirm DeVos. "I can not support this nominee".

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Democrats - largely ignoring national test scores showing the continued downturn of performance by the nation's public school students - have portrayed DeVos as unqualified to run a department that oversees the nation's public schools, since she has largely been an advocate for charter schools and school vouchers.

DeVos has also come under scrutiny because she and her husband are major investors in Neurocore, a Michigan-based company that offers a controversial treatment for people with autism.

"I was trying to get to yes", said Murkowski.

But, in the email quoted by the Voice, Toomey communications director E.R. Anderson said Toomey regarded DeVos as a "champion of school choice", while adding that the Senator "does appreciate the feedback from folks in Philadelphia and across Pennsylvania". With no Democratic support, if another Republican joins Collins and Murkowski it would be enough to sink her nomination.

Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who has been supportive of several of Trump's other Cabinet picks, also announced earlier Wednesday that he will not vote for DeVos. During the committee vote, ranking Democrat Patty Murray referenced the apparent plagiarism while criticizing DeVos.

Collins called DeVos "a product of her experience".

"I have heard from thousands, truly thousands of Alaskans who share their concerns about Mrs. DeVos as secretary of education". They defend her intentions and her experience as a school choice advocate and maintain that she would be a worthy advocate as secretary of education.

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