DeVos Clears One of Last Obstacles to Confirmation

Vote will take place early next week
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 3, 2017 10:01 AM CST
DeVos Clears One of Last Obstacles to Confirmation
In this Jan. 17, 2017 file photo, Education Secretary-designate Betsy DeVos testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington at her confirmation hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.    (Carolyn Kaster)

(Newser) – Betsy DeVos cleared a major hurdle in the Senate to become the next education secretary despite vigorous opposition from Democrats. Senators voted 52-48 to cut off debate at dawn Friday, setting the stage for a final confirmation vote next week on President Trump's nominee, reports the AP. Two Republican senators—Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska—have vowed to oppose her nomination, putting the expected late Monday or Tuesday vote at 50-50. Vice President Pence would cast the deciding vote in the event of a tie. A look at other coverage of DeVos as the vote draws near:

  • NPR asks how DeVos became Trump's "least favorite Cabinet pick," and answers it with four theories, ranging from the more commonly voiced (questions about her preparedness) to less (is it a gender thing?).
  • Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan explains why she'll be a "nay" vote on DeVos for the New York Times, and the explanation is a personal one: Her adult son Ben has cerebral palsy, and she writes of the experience he had in attending public school.
  • A counter-opinion: At the National Review, Jonathan Tobin writes that history won't really end up remembering if a single Trump Cabinet nominee doesn't make it through, but the future, not history, is what's at stake here. "DeVos' presence at the Department of Education could begin moving the school-choice movement from the margins of the public square to its center."
  • In a separate piece, the Times looks at why the uproar over DeVos' nomination is so "remarkable": "By most any measure, the secretary of education is one of the least powerful Cabinet positions," and it explains why. For starters, she'd be 16th in line for the presidency in the event something happened to Trump.
  • One Pennsylvania teacher has started a GoFundMe campaign that's trying to "buy" a "nay" vote.
(Read more Betsy DeVos stories.)

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