Educations Secretary nominee Betsy DeVos will be receiving a full Senate vote and is likely to be confirmed after Republicans advanced her nomination in a 6:30 am vote on Friday.
Senators convened at the unusual, early hour — 6:30 a.m. ET — because of Democratic stalling tactics that reflect their unhappiness with Trump’s cabinet picks and the overall confirmation process.
DeVos has come under fire from Democrats and two key Republicans for her positions on public and charter schools, as well as statements made during her confirmation hearing last month.
Despite losing support from Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, she is expected to be confirmed Monday with the help of Vice President Mike Pence, who will be in the chamber to break an expected 50-50 tie.
DeVos, who plagiarized answers to questions from senators regarding her viewpoints, has a terrible record for LGBT people.
Writes Lambda Legal:
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students contact Lambda Legal every day to seek help being safe at school. We need a Secretary of Education who will make schools safe for all students, and who won’t tolerate bullying – by peers, parents, or school administrators. What we know so far about Betsy DeVos’s record concerns us. She has supported Focus on the Family, which opposes marriage equality, and her family foundation has funded a group that advances the dangerous practice of so-called ‘conversion therapy.’ Her advocacy for privatizing public education could eject students – LGBT or not – from the protection of federal laws. A complete confirmation process for Betsy DeVos is necessary in order to fully investigate whether she supports equal rights for LGBT students.
Under the Obama administration, the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights has aggressively policed civil rights issues — such as cracking down on colleges that mishandle sexual assault cases, and urging schools to extend anti-bullying policies to cover LGBT students. During the election, the Trump campaign was critical of the civil rights office, with some Trump surrogates questioning its very existence. DeVos has said little about such issues, but civil rights advocates have said they’re “deeply concerned” that she might seek to rein in the office’s enforcement efforts. They note the DeVos family has a long history of supporting anti-gay causes — including donating hundreds of thousands to groups that push “conversion therapy” — raising questions about how DeVos would address discrimination against gay and transgender students. Democrats and advocacy groups are also concerned about donations that DeVos’ foundation made to another group, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, which has pushed to raise the standard of evidence in sexual assault cases on college campuses. Ed Patru, a spokesman for a group of DeVos supporters, said she sees private school vouchers and charter schools as a civil rights issue. “In hundreds of communities of color, kids aren’t being taught the skills they need to succeed in college or find the kinds of jobs that pay enough to escape poverty, and Betsy believes that is an alarming civil rights crisis,” Patru said.
She also believes guns should be allowed in schools…to prevent grizzly bear attacks.