WASHINGTON— U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) released the below statement after Vice President Mike Pence cast the deciding vote to break a 50-50 tie in the Senate to confirm Betsy DeVos as U.S. Secretary of Education. Yesterday, Senator Warner spoke on the floor of the U.S. Senate in opposition to the nomination. Video of that speech is available here. Audio is available here.
“The Senate voted today by the most narrow margin in its history to confirm a Secretary of Education who does not demonstrate a firm grasp on even the most basic education policy principles.
“Since Ms. DeVos’ nomination, tens of thousands of my constituents have expressed serious concerns about her focus on charter schools and voucherizing federal education dollars. Educators and parents of students with special needs are rightfully concerned, as am I, about Ms. DeVos’ lack of understanding or even awareness of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
“During her confirmation hearing, she demonstrated a similar lack of awareness of federal education policies related to campus sexual assault and school safety.
“While I did not support Ms. DeVos’ confirmation, I intend to hold her accountable for serving our students’, teachers’, parents’, and school leaders’ best interests, and I look forward to looking for areas of agreement where possible.”
Sen. Warner previously announced he will vote against Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions, Health & Human Services Secretary nominee Tom Price, Treasury Secretary nominee Steve Mnuchin, and OMB Director nominee Mick Mulvaney.