8 February 2017
President Mike Pence casting the tie-breaking vote, marking the first time in US history that such a vote was necessary to confirm a cabinet secretary.
of stage-managed and increasingly farcical play-acting, in which Senate Democrats pretended to be putting up a ferocious battle against DeVos, while Senate Republicans pretended to be manning the barricades on her behalf.
majority, and gave them permission.
Senator Elizabeth Warren’s plea for “just one more Republican” to defeat the nomination. Throughout this exercise in empty demagogy, in which the Democrats
claimed to be the defenders of public education and oppose its destruction, every Democrat who spoke was aware that DeVos would be confirmed by virtue of Vice President Pence’s tie-breaking vote.
Democratic administration, with Barack
Obama in the White House and his Chicago
crony Arne Duncan as head of the
Department of Education, was an
unmitigated disaster for public education.
More than 300,000 teachers and other school
workers lost their jobs under the Obama
administration, which through programs like
Race to the Top encouraged the growth of
charter schools and other efforts to
privatize and weaken public school systems.
votes have been overwhelming. Fourteen of the 48 Democrats had voted for the first five Trump nominees, only defecting in the confirmation of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and now DeVos.
month by a vote 98 to 1, receiving the support of nearly every Democrat in the Senate, including so-called “progressives” Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
of charter schools.
former CEO and heir of the Amway corporation fortune, spent $5.6 million on a ballot initiative that would have amended the Michigan state constitution to create a voucher program. The initiative was overwhelmingly rejected by voters.
of their respective departments.
National Republican Senatorial Committee. She personally donated a total of $1 million to 21 of the Republican senators who voted for her confirmation.
by DeVos, it was announced at the end of last month that Trump had appointed religious obscurantist Jerry Falwell, Jr., son of the televangelist huckster and founder of Moral Majority, to lead a special panel tasked with eliminating
and curbing federal regulations on education.
campus, or engaging in “inappropriate personal contact.”
be a big help to [DeVos]. It will do some of the work for her,” he said.