Betsy DeVos

Ep. 40: The Public Education of Betsy DeVos
The Week Ahead

After a bruising Senate confirmation process, Betsy DeVos is now Education Department chief. But she still has a lot of distrust to overcome, says CQ Roll Call’s education reporter Emily Wilkins. Even so, she's poised to influence how Congress and America view one of the pillars of American life – public schools.

Show Notes:

Pence Casts Historic Tiebreaking Vote to Confirm DeVos
DeVos was on the brink of being blocked in the Senate

Betsy DeVos was confirmed to be the next Education secretary. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

For the first time ever, the vice president was called to Capitol Hill to break a tie on a vote to confirm a member of the Cabinet.

Vice President Mike Pence presided over the Senate for the first time since being sworn in just more than two weeks ago, and cast the tiebreaking vote, 51-50, to confirm Betsy DeVos as the next Education secretary. A vice president had never done so before, according to the Senate Historical Office.

Capitol Ink | An Apple for the Teachers

Senate Democrats Plan an All-Nighter Against DeVos

Senate Preview: DeVos and Price Face Skeptical Dems

Senate Democrats Want More Time to Question Trump’s Education Nominee
Committee members limited to five minutes of questioning

Senate HELP Chairman Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., plans to hold one round of questions during Education Secretary nominee Betsy DeVos’ scheduled hearing. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Democrats are seeking to extend the five minutes they will be allowed to question President-elect Donald Trump’s choice for Education secretary Betsy DeVos during her confirmation hearing next week, arguing her nomination raises a slew of issues that need more time to be examined.

While the confirmation hearings for some of Trump’s Cabinet picks have stretched for many hours, Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Chairman Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., said he would stick to the committee’s standard of holding one round of questions during DeVos’ scheduled hearing at 5 p.m. on Jan. 17. After opening statements by Alexander and ranking member Patty Murray of Washington, the 12 Republicans and 11 Democrats on the committee will be limited to five minutes of questioning, he said.

Pompeo, DeVos, Ross Confirmation Hearings Delayed
3 Trump nominees still due to testify on Thursday

CIA Director-designee Rep. Mike Pompeo of Kansas is expected to have a smooth path to confirmation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 5:45 p.m. The Senate Intelligence Committee has pushed back the confirmation hearing for CIA Director-designee Mike Pompeo from Wednesday to Thursday — one of a series of delays or postponements affecting the crowded confirmation schedule.

The Intelligence panel did not provide a reason for the change, but the hearing for President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to the lead the CIA was one of five originally scheduled for Wednesday. It will now join two other confirmation hearings planned for Thursday, including another key national security post — Defense secretary.

Republicans Gear Up for School Choice Legislation Under DeVos
D.C. scholarship program could be easy starter

Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-North Carolina, next chair of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, has praised voucher programs in both Washington, D.C., and in her home state. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican-backed legislation giving parents more control over their children’s education is expected to get a boost in the next Congress if school choice advocate Betsy DeVos is confirmed as President-elect Donald Trump’s Education secretary.

Some proposals are expected to easily pass next year, such as the re-authorization of Washington, D.C.‘s unique scholarship program allowing students to use federal funds to attend private and charter schools.