The U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions has voted along party lines in favor of the nomination of Betsy DeVos to be secretary of education.
The New York Times reports that all 12 Republican senators on the committee voted for DeVos, a billionaire with no previous experience as a teacher or administrator. All 11 Democrats opposed her, calling her both dangerous and unqualified.
The Senate is likely to confirm DeVos’s appointment, but confirmation is still not certain. Senator Lisa Murkowski, Republican of Alaska, expressed reservations about DeVos. She voted to advance DeVos's nomination out of committee, but she would not commit to voting for her on the Senate floor.
Democrats, teachers’ unions and others have been inundating senators to voice their opposition to DeVos. They have expressed concern about her family’s contributions to groups that support so-called conversion therapy for gay people; her donations to Republicans and their causes, which she said have totaled about $200 million over the years; and her past statements that government “sucks” and that public schools are a “dead end.”