Committee clashes before confirmation vote on Betsy DeVos

Posted at 11:34 AM, Jan 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-31 12:00:38-05

(AP) A Senate committee has approved Betsy DeVos for education secretary, sends nomination to full Senate.  The votes were along party lines, 12-11.

Republican and Democratic senators clashed over the nomination of charter school activist and wealthy Republican donor Betsy DeVos as education secretary.

As the Senate Health, Education, Pensions and Labor Committee prepared to vote Tuesday on DeVos’ nomination, Chairman Lamar Alexander is lamenting Democrats’ fierce opposition to President Donald Trump’s pick.

He says he respects his colleagues and doesn’t question their motives or votes but thinks “their concerns are misplaced.”

Sen. Patty Murray of Washington State, the top Democrat on the committee said it was clear that DeVos is “the wrong choice.”

Murray charged that DeVos has spent her family’s wealth to push “extreme anti-student ideology” siphoning money away from public schools “toward taxpayer funded private school vouchers, with little accountability, for just a few.”