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Virginia Senators React to Confirmation of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education

KAINE REACTS TO BETSY DEVOS CONFIRMATION VOTE ON FACEBOOK LIVE

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tim Kaine reacted to a Senate vote confirming Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education on Facebook Live today shortly after leaving the Senate floor. Kaine, a member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, offered thanks to the tens of thousands of Virginia constituents who called his office, wrote letters and sent emails through his Senate website to express their deep concern about the DeVos nomination over the past few weeks.

“I do want to thank all of you. More people contacted my office about her nomination than any other topic in my four years in the Senate,” Kaine said. “The stories that you shared and your energy will help us in the HELP Committee on oversight to make sure she doesn’t do things that will harm our kids.”

You can watch Kaine’s Facebook video here.

STATEMENT OF U.S. SEN. MARK R. WARNER 

~ On confirmation of Betsy DeVos to be Secretary of Education ~

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.

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