Democrats object to Betsy DeVos as Sen. Portman supports her

Mahoning County Democratic Party Chairman David Betras called Betsy DeVos "the most unqualified person ever" for cabinet

FILE - In this Monday, Oct. 13, 2014 file photo, Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, speaks during an interview in Lebanon, Ohio. National environmental group the National Resources Defense Council has launched a $500,000 ad campaign against Portman in Ohio, claiming a federal budget amendment he introduced could undercut the enforceability of the federal Clean Air Act. (AP Photo/Al Behrman, File)
(AP Photo/Al Behrman, File)


YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The final confirmation vote for President Donald Trump’s pick for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, will be in the coming days.

It’s expected to be a tight one.

However, top ranking Republicans in Ohio have recently showed support of DeVos.

Ohio Republican Senator Rob Portman released a statement Friday, saying he supports the president’s pick:

I support Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education because during the confirmation process she committed to strongly support public education and because of her support for local control, instead of having the federal government dictate education policy at the state and local level.  I look forward to working with her to improve our K-12 public education system, make college more affordable, stand up for children with disabilities, and close the skills gap by promoting Career and Technical Education (CTE) to give young people more opportunities to succeed.”

This coming despite reports saying senator’s phone lines are jammed with an influx of callers asking their representatives not to vote for DeVos. There have also been protests throughout the country — even one in Youngstown.

“We need a person who is heading our country that believes in public education,” said HaSheen Wilson of Youngstown State.

Ohio Governor John Kasich also has shown support for DeVos, praising her character, experience and philosophy of limited government.

Kasich wrote a letter to the Senate’s education and health committee, saying, “Betsy DeVos has the potential to usher in an era of real and meaningful education reforms in our country.”

However, records show a political action committee, which DeVos led, still owes Ohio five million dollars.

“Perhaps the most unqualified person ever in the history of our country to be nominated for a cabinet position,” said David Betras, Mahoning County Democratic Party chairman.

DeVos has never worked in education. And Ohio state Senator Joe Schiavoni says he has other concerns with DeVos.

“I’m more worried that she is going to be so biased,” Schiavoni said. “Not only in her decisions with charter schools, but I mean she’s too tied to the Republican Party and charter schools in general.”

If the final confirmation vote is split 50-50, Vice President Mike Pence will be the tie breaker.

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