Senate committee to vote on Betsy DeVos nomination

WASHINGTON (WOOD/AP) – A U.S. Senate committee is expected to vote Tuesday morning on whether or not to confirm Betsy DeVos as the next secretary of education.

The committee meeting is scheduled for 10 a.m. With the committee and full Senate both controlled by Republicans, DeVos is expected to be confirmed.

DeVos, a wealthy GOP donor, has long supported charter schools and allowing school choice. That’s prompted opposition from Democrats and teachers’ unions, which view her stance as a threat to federal dollars that support public education.

However during the confirmation hearing, DeVos insisted she won’t dismantle public education.

Rights activists fear DeVos’ conservative religious beliefs make her a poor advocate for LGBT students and other minorities. Critics have mocked her for suggesting that guns could be justified in schools to protect students from grizzly bears.

Over the weekend, hundreds of people marched in DeVos’ hometown of Holland to protest her nomination.

Senate panels were also expected Tuesday to advance President Donald Trump’s picks of Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., to be health secretary; Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., to be attorney general; and Steve Mnuchin to lead Treasury. All had strong Republican support, though final confirmation votes by the full Senate weren’t yet scheduled.

Trump complained Monday night about the confirmation process, tweeting: “The Democrats are delaying my cabinet picks for purely political reasons. They have nothing going but to obstruct.”

Trump has nominated some of the wealthiest Americans to serve a president, leading to exhaustive ethics reviews. A Senate schedule interrupted by breaks has also delayed the process.

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