Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Protests continue in Togo despite ban on weekday demonstrations

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'The fall of the comedy king': Canada hit by sexual harassment scandal

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Spain 'goes nuclear' on Catalonia

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Civil rights leader Al Sharpton says Trump 'channels' racism

Read more

THE DEBATE

Moment of truth: Spain sets in motion direct rule over Catalonia

Read more

PEOPLE & PROFIT

Must it come down? Market analysts bracing for correction

Read more

FOCUS

Italian regions of Lombardy and Veneto to vote on autonomy

Read more

THE POLITICAL BRIEF

France considers tough new laws to crack down on sexual harassment

Read more

ENCORE!

Inside the new Yves Saint Laurent museum in Morocco

Read more

Americas

Pence breaks US Senate tie to confirm DeVos as education secretary

© Brendan Smialowski, AFP | Betsy DeVos speaks during her confirmation hearing for US Secretary of Education before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee in Washington D.C. on January 17, 2017

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2017-02-08

President Donald Trump’s choice of billionaire Betsy DeVos to be education secretary was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on Tuesday, but only after Vice President Mike Pence was called in to break a tie that threatened to defeat her.

The tie-breaking vote, which Senate officials said was unprecedented to confirm a president’s Cabinet nominee, came after two Republicans joined with 46 Democrats and two independents in opposition to DeVos. Critics have called her unprepared to lead the Department of Education.

Following a rocky Senate confirmation hearing, Democrats have attacked DeVos as being unprepared to lead the Department of Education.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer immediately derided the proceeding.

“This cabinet nom is so unqualified, so divisive, that @MikePenceVP had to drive down Pennsylvania Ave to cast the deciding vote,” he wrote in a Twitter post after the vote.

Under the U.S. Constitution, the vice president also serves as president of the Senate, with the power to cast votes only when there are ties on nominations or legislation.

Democrats kept the Senate in session throughout Monday night debating on DeVos and in an attempt to pressure one more Republican to join in opposition to DeVos and thus defeat her.

Ultimately, only Republican senators Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska joined the Democrats and two independents in opposition to DeVos. That left 50 Republicans supporting her in the 100-member chamber.

Historically, Cabinet nominees with weak support in the Senate ask the president to withdraw their nomination, which DeVos did not do.

DeVos is married to the heir and former CEO of Amway, which sells household and personal care items. She is also the daughter of the founders of Prince Corp, a Michigan car parts supplier and sister of Erik Prince, the founder of the security company formerly known as Blackwater USA, now called Academi.

As Monday night’s debate wound down, Schumer said of DeVos: “She disdains public education where 90 percent of our students are.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, urging her confirmation, said it was time to “end the unprecedented delay by Democrats” on the Cabinet nominations by Trump, a Republican who took office on Jan. 20.

DeVos has been an advocate of charter schools, which operate independently of school districts and frequently are run by corporations. Democrats are concerned she will promote charter schools in a way that would undercut public schools, which have long been the anchor of the U.S. education system.

The Senate is now expected to move on to debating Trump’s choices of Senator Jeff Sessions to be attorney general, Representative Tom Price to be secretary of Health and Human Services and ex-banker Steve Mnuchin to be Treasury secretary.

All three face opposition from Senate Democrats.

Also facing a rough ride is Trump’s choice of Andrew Puzder to be secretary of labor. Puzder, the chief executive of CKE Restaurants Inc, has admitted to employing an undocumented immigrant as a house cleaner.

(REUTERS)

Date created : 2017-02-07

  • USA

    Trump administration defends ‘lawful’ travel ban

    Read more

  • USA - RUSSIA

    Trump draws fire for defending 'killer' Putin

    Read more

  • USA

    US appeals court denies Justice Department request to restore Trump's immigration ban

    Read more

COMMENT(S)