Senate HELP Committee Votes to Confirm Betsy DeVos


On Tuesday morning the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee met to vote on Betsy DeVos’ Secretary of the Department of Education nomination.

DeVos, Donald Trump’s pick for Education Secretary,  has been criticized by parents, educators and democratic lawmakers for her lack of knowledge regarding IDEA – a federal law ensuring special education services to children with disabilities — as well as her promotion of voucher programs and charter schools and her absence of teaching credentials and qualifications.

The vote, which passed 12 to 11, was split down party lines with all Democrats voting against DeVos and all Republicans voting for. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), who was physically absent from the vote, voted by proxy, making committee Democrats question whether or not the quorum needed for a vote to count was truly present. Without Hatch’s vote, the vote was 11 to 11.

After much debate, Hatch rejoined the committee for a vote and DeVos was confirmed with 12 votes for and 11 against.

The vote does not mean DeVos is confirmed as Education Secretary, rather the vote to confirm DeVos moves to the Senate, where it needs a simple majority to pass.

We will update this article as more information is available. 


Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.


Related to Disability

The words “Intersectionality, Race, Class, Gender, Sexuality, Nationality, Age, Religion, Disability”, are written in repeating white tiles. Overlaid on the tiles is a bright red ribbon printed with the word “Disability” in large white letters. The ribbon runs horizontally across the middle of the page, and then crosses vertically.

How We Can Build a Unified Disability Community

By Linda Williams, Ph.D., and Monica Slabaugh / Invisible Disability Project Disability is the tie that binds all of our intersectional identities. Do you identify as disabled / able-bodied; straight / gay / queer; female / male / transgender / gender queer; black / brown / white / yellow; rich / poor? Our identities occur [...]
Paw Patrol Live.

The Day I Was Grateful to Be in Pain as a Mom With a Disability

My daughter is only allowed to watch a small number of television shows — yes, I am one of those parents. One of her favorite shows is “Paw Patrol.” I don’t use the word favorite lightly – she owns Paw Patrol dolls, pajamas, figurines, vehicles, stickers and don’t forget the light-up tennis shoes! Nearly 4 [...]
Emerson on the playground.

Dear Senator: Please Protect My Child With a Disability

Dear Senator Harris: My name is Dawn Hamilton and my family and I reside in Los Angeles, California. My husband and I both voted for you, and we want to thank you for the leadership you have shown in support of protecting the civil rights and liberties of all people regardless of difference in race, [...]
A waving U.S. Flag is back-lit in the afternoon sun.

How I'm Finding Serenity Amidst the Political Storm as a Person With a Disability

I didn’t expect the inauguration to be as difficult as it was for me. I didn’t expect tears. I didn’t expect anxiety-filled phone calls to family. I didn’t even expect to stand two feet from the TV staring at the news holding my emotional support dog tight. And for those few minutes, I didn’t expect [...]