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Betsy DeVos Accused of Copying Answers to Senators' Written Questionnaire
01 February 2017, 12:45 | Noel Cummings
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The scene took place at a Tuesday morning session of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, known as HELP. Betsy DeVos of Grand Rapids, Michigan, is known for her passion to expand school choice-especially where school's are reporting lagging in reading and math scores. Immediately following the vote, Democrats moved to overturn the vote because a proxy vote in favor was made for U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said. Democrats complained, though, that responses to the majority of their questions were insufficient or not returned to them until the night before the vote.
"To level an accusation against her about these words included in responses to almost 1,400 questions-139 alone from the ranking member-is simply a desperate attempt to discredit Betsy DeVos, who will serve the Department of Education and our nation's children with distinction if confirmed", Goad, who sits on the White House Domestic Policy Council, told CNN. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) were possibly copied and pasted from other sources without citations.
The questions - which totaled over 1,000 - were answered in DeVos' name, but it's unclear what role aides and staffers played in answering the queries.
In a question about how DeVos would handle the bullying of LGBTQ students, DeVos wrote, "Every child deserves to attend school in a safe, supportive environment where they can learn, thrive, and grow".
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Senators Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Murkowski both said they may not ultimately vote for DeVos. "Though, I will say-upon initial review, numerous responses look copied and pasted from previous statements, or are simple reiterations of the law and not true responses at all". The bill failed to pass as Republicans voted against the measure. "Sen. Murray does not believe that members of the committee have enough information about Ms. DeVos' opaque finances, conflicts of interest, and other issues", Murray spokesman Eli Zupnick said.
There was some drama at the end when Sen.
But two prominent Republican senators on the committee expressed reservations, particularly about DeVos' lack of experience.
Bennet did say it was "admirable" that DeVos spent so much time, money and effort trying to improve education for kids in the state. "If confirmed I look forward to fighting for quality education for all students". Sanders has been the largest beneficiary of teachers union political contributions on the committee, raising $144,586 from both groups. Before the vote, the association said that more than 1 million emails were sent to senators through its website urging them to vote against DeVos.
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