Warren: GOP ramming DeVos ‘down the throats of the American people’

The Hill

Warren: GOP ramming DeVos 'down the throats of the American people'
© Victoria Sarno Jordan
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) slammed Betsy DeVos on Monday, urging Republicans to reject President Trump’s pick to lead the Education Department.
“I rise today to call on my colleagues to reject the nomination of Betsy DeVos,” Warren said from the Senate floor. “The Republicans have made it clear no matter her experience, no matter her radical views … they will ram this nomination down the throats of the American people sideways.”
Warren added that “it is difficult to imagine a worse choice” to head up the department.

A final vote on DeVos’s nomination is expected around noon on Tuesday as Democrats plan to hold the floor during a rare all-night session to voice their opposition to DeVos’s nomination.

DeVos will lose two GOP votes in Sens. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Susan Collins (Maine), which will probably force Vice President Pence to cast a tie-breaking vote to win her confirmation. Every Senate Democrat is expected to vote against DeVos, but it does not appear that she will lose another GOP vote.
Warren argued on Monday that Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), Trump’s pick to be attorney general, shouldn’t be allowed to vote, arguing it is a “massive conflict of interest.”
“Now with at least 50 senators … publicly opposed to this nomination, the Republican leadership has rigged the vote so that Sen. Sessions can drag her across the finish line just before he is confirmed as attorney general,” she said.
Warren pointed to DeVos’s support for charter schools, lack of personal experience with the federal student loan program that she will oversee and her refusal to guarantee during her confirmation hearing that she would enforce a gainful employment rule as a few of the reasons she will oppose the nominee.
Warren pressed DeVos during the contentious confirmation hearing about the employment rule.
“I asked her basic, straightforward questions about her commitment to protecting students and taxpayers from fraud. … Her response was shocking,” Warren said Monday.
When DeVos demurred from committing to enforce a gainful employment rule targeted at for-profit colleges — saying instead only that she would review it — Warren interrupted her, noting they had talked about the regulation during a closed-door meeting.
Warren added on Monday that DeVos’s positions “would be a disaster for both students and taxpayers.”
DeVos, a GOP mega-donor, has been the subject of fierce opposition from teachers unions and other liberal groups over her support for charter schools and tuition vouchers using public funds.
Warren noted that opponents of DeVos need to flip one more GOP senator.
“I assume that the rush to complete this nomination has something to do with the fact that Republicans phones have been ringing off the hook,” she added.
Democrats are lining up on Monday to speak out against DeVos. Democratic Sens. Patty Murray (Wash.), Charles Schumer (N.Y.), Chris Van Hollen (Md.), Mazie Hirono (Hawaii), Bob Casey (Pa.), Amy Klobuchar (Minn.) and Patrick Leahy (Vt.) have also spoken from the floor.