The Senate committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions officially approved Betsy DeVos as the Department of Education elect. Out of the 12 Republicans on the Senate committee, all of them voted to approve DeVos, while all 11 Democratic representatives opposed her. This was the second round of voting for the committee, after Democrats asked for a re-vote on behalf of Senator Orrin G. Hatch, Republican of Utah, who was absent from the initial vote.

Devos1

This second round of voting came after The Washington Post reported DeVos seemed to have plagiarized some of the answers she submitted to the panel. WTVR quoted Senator Patty Murray saying,

“Additionally, we just received responses to hundreds of written questions yesterday — less than 24 hours before a scheduled vote — and with no time for full review and to ask any follow-up questions…Though, I will say—upon initial review, many of the responses look copied and pasted from previous statements, or are simple reiterations of the law and not true responses at all.”

The New York Times also quoted Murray saying, “I have not been persuaded that Betsy DeVos will put students first if she were confirmed, and I have not been persuaded that she has the experience, skills, understanding, or vision to lead this critical department at a time when it is more important than ever.”

Murray Patty

Patty Murray

WTVR went on to quote Rob Goad, President Trump’s education advisor, disagreeing with Murray and saying, “To level an accusation against her about these words included in responses to nearly 1,400 questions — 139 alone from the ranking member — is simply a desperate attempt to discredit Betsy DeVos, who will serve the Department of Education and our nation’s children with distinction if confirmed.”

DeVos’ ultimate confirmation seems likely, though is not definite. Many teachers are concerned about DeVos’ nomination and her intentions for public school education. Senator Lisa Murkowski, Republican of Alaska, told CNN that even though she voted for DeVos in the Senate committee, she would not commit to voting for her on the Senate floor. Murkowski further reports she is waiting for DeVos to prove she has the best interest of children across the country, from every socioeconomic and ethnic background.

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