Senate Democrats are vowing that they will not let all of Trump’s nominees get by easily.
Senator Al Franken has announced that no Democrats will vote to confirm Betsy DeVos for education secretary, and that they are actively looking for a report from Republicans to do the same.
Appearing on the Rachel Maddow Show, Franken also mentioned that Senate Democrats have met to discuss all of Trump’s cabinet nominees and that DeVos was just one of the nominations that would receive strong Democratic opposition, stating “There’s going to be a lot of these nominees who we’re going to do everything we can to defeat. As you know, these nominees need 51 votes and we have 48, so we need some Republicans. … You will see a number of these nominees who virtually all of us [Democrats] will oppose. … I’m sure that’s true of DeVos.”
— Sen. Al Franken (@SenFranken) January 19, 2017
DeVos is being highly criticized for her lack of experience and her advocacy aimed at privatizing the public education system.
During her confirmation hearing, DeVos displayed a strong lack of understanding of key education issues, including being unaware of federal law protecting the rights of students with disabilities. DeVos also used a bizarre example of grizzly bears to show support for guns on school campuses.
DeVos is also hazy on her stance on campus sexual assault discipline and LGBTQ rights. Although she says she supports same-sex marriage, in 1999 her and her husband gave almost $300,000 to Focus on the Family, a conservative Christian organization that believes in gay conversion therapy.
Many teachers and teachers’ unions strongly oppose DeVos and have protested against her nomination.
Since her nomination was announced, more than one million people have signed petitions, written letters, and called senators to express their strong opposition. Even alumni and students from DeVos’ alma mater, Calvin College, wrote a letter stating she was unqualified for the position.
The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions will vote on her nomination on Tuesday, January 31.