DeVos Clears Committee as Questions About Citing Raised

Vote on Betsy DeVos as education secretary moves to Senate floor
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 31, 2017 12:37 PM CST
DeVos Clears Committee, but Controversy Dogs Her
In this Jan. 17, 2017, file photo, Education Secretary-nominee Betsy DeVos testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

It's now up to the Senate to decide whether Betsy DeVos will be America's next education secretary. The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions on Tuesday voted 12-11 along party lines to send the Michigan billionaire's nomination to the floor, though two Republicans on the committee—Sens. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski—expressed that while they felt deference to President Trump was necessary in committee, they hadn't decided how they would vote in the Senate. The Detroit Free-Press reports no date has been set for that vote. The Washington Post notes that Democrats, who have rallied hard against the private school voucher champion, say they have 48 nays, but need 51.

Committee chair Sen. Lamar Alexander shot down Democrats' request for a vote delay in order to further question DeVos by referencing the more than 1,000 written questions she has answered—answers being scrutinized thanks to a Post piece published just in advance of the committee's vote. The Post stops short of crying plagiarism, but sussed out examples of sentences that it says appear to have been taken from other sources without attribution. Its chief example: In response to a question about the bullying of LGBT students, DeVos wrote, "Every child deserves to attend school in a safe, supportive environment where they can learn, thrive, and grow." A DOJ official under Obama in May 2016 wrote the following regarding transgender students: "Every child deserves to attend school in a safe, supportive environment that allows them to thrive and grow." (More Betsy DeVos stories.)

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