It appears that all of President Donald Trump’s cabinet appointments are going to be confirmed, despite clear splits down party lines and issues with the preparedness for the jobs.
The latest example of just how divided the country is came as Betsy DeVos was voted in as the newest Secretary of Education, a position she’s sorely unqualified for with practically no experience with public schools.
After two Republican senators announced they’d be voting against DeVos’ appointment, the Senate was split 50-50.
“I have serious concerns about a nominee to be secretary of education who has been so involved in one side of the equation, so immersed in the push for vouchers, that she may be unaware of what actually is successful within the public schools, and also what is broken and how to fix them,” said Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) of Alaska when she announced her vote along with Sen. Susan Collins (R) of Maine.
To break the tie and continue their plan to apparently rock the United States to its core, Vice President Mike Pence oversaw the Senate at 12:29 p.m., raised his gavel and cast his vote.
It was the first time in history that the vice president has been forced to break a tie for a cabinet appointment.
“It’s telling that even when Trump had full control of the legislative and executive branches, he could only get DeVos confirmed by an unprecedented tiebreaking vote by his vice president,” said Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers. “That’s because DeVos shows an antipathy for public schools, a full-throttled embrace of private, for-profit alternatives and a lack of basic understanding of what children need to succeed in school.”
Many fear that DeVos’ history of supporting charter and private schools are early indicators that resources will be given to them in favor of public schools.
It should be noted that a majority of American children are enrolled in public schools and that their education could suffer, and potentially crippling the potential of a generation, if they’re disregarded on behalf of private and religious schools. This is especially troubling for Black and Brown students who already struggle to receive equal public school quality and conditions in this country.
The confirmation was a major blow to Democrats who have failed to block many of President Trump’s decisions and appointments. The last possible victory comes in trying to prevent Sen. Jeff Sessions, who remained in the Senate to help vote DeVos into the cabinet, from obtaining his appointment as Attorney General.