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Senate Ends Debate, Sends DeVos Nomination to Floor for Vote

February 3, 2017 - 7:45am

The U.S. Senate will hold a full vote to confirm President Donald Trump’s controversial nominee for U.S. Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, next week.

On Friday, the Senate voted 52-48 to send the Michigan billionaire’s nomination to the full Senate floor.

Friday’s early morning vote was not a full vote, but a vote to cut off debate, contrary to news reports circulating Friday morning.

DeVos’ nomination has been riddled with backlash since Trump announced his pick for the country’s top education job in November. 

Teachers and Democrats have expressed concerns that DeVos simply isn’t qualified enough for the job -- she has no teaching experience nor has she held any public office related to education. None of DeVos’ children have attended a public school.

“DeVos’ lack of experience, combined with her ideological zeal to put profits over children, has led to millions of Americans across the country—regardless of party affiliation—to ask their Senators to reject her nomination to become the nation’s education secretary,” American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten said this week. 

DeVos’ experience in education comes primarily from being a staunch advocate of school choice, pumping money to school choice programs which allow children and parents’ greater flexibility over which schools they attend. That position doesn’t sit well with teachers unions specifically, who sharply criticize school choice programs for “funneling” money away from public schools.

“So many questions have been left unanswered about her views on our schools and how she will protect our most vulnerable students, and so many possible conflicts of interest are left unaddressed,” Weingarten continued.

Lawmakers’ phone lines have been jammed this week with constituent calls voicing their concerns over DeVos’ nomination and it appeared her confirmation would be in jeopardy when two Republican senators -- Sens. Susan Collins, R-ME and Lisa Murkowski, R-AK -- said they would break party lines and vote against her.

Meanwhile, voters are using all sorts of channels to sway senators to say "no" to DeVos. A Philadelphia teacher started a GoFundMe page to buy Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Pat Toomey's vote against DeVos. The page had raised $31,000 in less than 24 hours.

Both Collins and Murkowski have close ties to teachers unions -- Murkowski herself received $10,000 from the National Education Association in the 2016 cycle and both were the only GOP lawmakers to receive above a 50 percent rating from the NEA in 2012. 

If all senators stick to their pledged votes, Vice President Mike Pence could become key to putting DeVos over the edge during the full floor vote, breaking a 50-50 tie to confirm DeVos as the next Secretary of Education.

The full Senate vote will be held Monday or Tuesday.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.



Reach reporter Allison Nielsen by email at or follow her on Twitter: @AllisonNielsen



It is a joke that they are even having a vote for this fool!... She's not qualified to teach pre-school...

IF AFT President Randi Weingarten is opposed to Betsy DeVos,.. THEN I have NO CHOICE but to be FOR Betsy DeVos !!!! I am VERY familiar with Randi Weingarten from when she "headed" the New York City Teachers' Union: "Graduated, but illiterate, students "ushered out prematurely" into "the world" unfit to read, or write, a comprehensive report, much less operating instructions for equipment or machinery...were the "modus operandi" of the NYC School System!!! BUT the incompetent teachers were among the best paid in the country,...and THEREIN lies the SOLE PURPOSE of the likes of Randi Weingarten!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Tired, worn-out teachers who frequently don't even like kids; teachers hanging on to the "mammary" with "tenured-claws"; ALL "taking up space" in an unfortunately National System that not only protects 'incompetence', but rewards it ! As the old adage goes: "Those that can't do, teach; Those that can't teach, teach Gym; Those that can't teach Gym, become teachers' Union representatives". "KIDS FIRST ! TEACHERS' RANK ACCORDING TO THEIR COMPETENCE ! TEACHERS' UNION REPRESENTATIVES...AT "THE END OF THE LINE"!!! GO TRUMP (He is well aware of the NYC education system, and their Teachers' Union)!!! GO BETSY DeVos (America's Kids NEED YOUR 'FRESH' OUTLOOK !!!).

Unless you've been elected President, everyone should realize these are his picks and no one else's. I've always supported Mr. Trump but let him have his nominees and may he come out on top, or not, it's still his selection.

I guess you just don't give a shit about people, humanity & Democracy. Have you not thought WHY both Democratic & Republicans are disputing his choices? Have you not read that there are NO past Presidential cabinet nominee's that have come under such opposition? Or do you think at all? I think people have lost all common sense and prefer hatred, racism & bigotry, sounds like your one of them.

Take a look in your mirror Victoria, YOU are the foul mouthed, racist, hateful, uninformed bigot that you so aptly describe. If you're as ugly as your mouth and your mind, you must be socially unacceptable, even in your own "circle"!

Hope you're not a flawed Teacher "poisoning kids' mind" in OUR neighborhoods; IF SO, you're not even a 'part' of the "solution", YOU ARE the PROBLEM,...BIG TIME !!!

upto I looked at the paycheck saying $9861 , I accept that my father in law was like they say trully bringing in money in their spare time online. . there best friend haz done this less than 8 months and a short time ago repayed the dept on there appartment and bourt a great Citroën 2CV . see at this site ======================================>

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We do not need a S O E that is controled by the Teachers Union. It is time that someone not under there control puts a different look on Education. I have seen teachers looking out for them selves instead of the students. The Unions do not care what happens to the KIDS. Either Tenure or the Unions have to go. The teachers do not need 2 kinds of protection.

When compared to other industrialized nations, are rankings in Science, Math and Reading skills are horrible. Yet we spend the MOST money per student. The teachers union and dems control our education system. Just like the Black families and our health care, the dems are destroying our education system. Time for a change. Competition is a good thing, makes EVERYONE work harder and do better.

DeVos wants to put children's best interest before poor teachers and failing schools! Funny the Dems founded common core and funneled billions into the dumbing down of our kids! Hypocrisy abounds for Dems again !

I could think of no one LESS qualified to be Sec. of Ed...classic.

You don't get paid to think so back to work or get fired! Betsy's our Girl.

You don't have a job to get back to work too...unless you call president of the trailer park association a real gig...classic.

Why post anonymous? are you embarrassed with what you've said?

Comments are now closed.

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