Recently, one of the most questionable nominees in the Trump Cabinet gained the limited support necessary to be confirmed as Secretary of Education. The Senate vote resulted in 50-50 split, but Mike Pence fulfilling his duty as Vice President broke the tie and Betsy DeVos became confirmed as Secretary of Education.
She nearly lost the candidacy due to the lack of knowledge of what the job of Secretary of Education entailed. No Democrats, or Independents voted in favor of DeVos and even two Republicans broke party lines to vote against DeVos. Senator Al Franken from Minnesota, during the over-night Senate protest before the nomination of DeVos, stated that she did not know what the job entailed as she gave him no real solution to fix the problems that are facing the Department of Education. Our own Rhode Island Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse went over the countless emails and letters that were sent to them to oppose Betsy Devos. Senator Bernie Sanders from Vermont, and former Democratic Presidential Candidate, called out Devos’ family for funding Republicans with millions of dollars over the years which may be the real reason she was nominated to occupy an office in which she is unqualified to hold.
Although she won, the fight is far from over. DeVos has already has faced major challenges with the public and people have taken to the streets to oppose her. Protestors even managed to block DeVos from entering a school in D.C. to express their dissatisfaction with her confirmation. On other occasions, DeVos was met with opposition on Twitter. The tweets commonly remarked on the Secretary of Education’s inability to understand how the department works. However, many Conservatives, especially on the Far-Right, have stated that she will give more choice when it comes to parents deciding where their kids should go to school. The choices will include public, private, charter, and religious Schools. Although this seems as a good option, the concerns over privatizing education raises major concerns for Democrats.
Whatever the Republican Party and Donald Trump see in DeVos, many Americans including some Trump supporters do not support DeVos. Betsy DeVos has broken the record of receiving the least number of votes to be confirmed as Secretary of Education. This historic “tragedy,” or success in the eyes of many Conservatives, will inevitably lead to further issues between the two parties during the upcoming 2018. And if DeVos doesn’t fulfill her role in protecting education, the Senate and the House may end up looking very different. But in the end, only history will decide if Betsy DeVos will be remembered as an underdog succeeding despite her clear limitations, or as the worst, least qualified candidate to ever become Secretary of Education.