According to CNN, Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska–both Republicans–will vote against Betsy DeVos in the Senate floor. One more Republican vote is needed to stop her confirmation. In case of a 50-50 tie, Mike Pence would be the tiebreaker.

Collins, Murkowski to vote no on education secretary nominee – CNN


Rural Republicans are most likely to oppose DeVos because their communities don’t want vouchers or charters.

Education Week lists the Senators who might break against the rest of the party. They represent largely rural states.

“One possible place to look for that third GOP vote against DeVos is the vote tally from the Scholarships for Kids Act in July 2015.

“That proposal, proposed by Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., would have redirected $24 billion in federal funding for education into $2,100 scholarships for 11 million low-income students to use at the school of their choice. Alexander called it “a real answer to inequality in America.” The proposal failed, with 52 senators voting against and 45 in favor.

“Collins and Murkowski helped defeat the measure. Here are the other Republican lawmakers who voted against the Scholarships for Kids Act and are still in the Senate:

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia
Sen. Deb Fischer of Nebraska
Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada
Sen. Jerry Moran of Kansas

DeVos is a prominent school choice advocate who favors vouchers. And those four senators have shown they’re not particularly big fans of vouchers, at least at the federal level.

“All four of those senators also represent states with significant rural interests to consider. As we’ve written before, school choice doesn’t necessarily play well in rural areas because of logistical and other barriers. And Heller is up for re-election in 2018, and could face a tough contest.

“We’ve reached out to all four of those senators’ offices for comment, and we’ll update this blog post if we hear back.

“None of this is to say that any of the four senators we’ve listed above are likely to vote against DeVos. GOP party discipline may prove far more important than any other factor. Those four senators decide that DeVos may be great on other education issues. And Republican senators may also be wary about the ripple effect of voting against a nominee who comes from the community of GOP mega-donors. Finally, remember that Trump won all four of those states except Nevada.

“There’s also this to consider: Both Capito and Heller have received money from the Alticor political action committee, which the DeVos family controls. (Murkowski herself has received money from Betsy DeVos directly, although that didn’t stop her from expressing serious reservations about the nominee on Tuesday.)

“Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who’s expressed concerns about President Donald Trump in other policy areas, has gotten money from the DeVos family directly. And another senator who’s done likewise, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., has already said he’d vote for DeVos.”

DeVos is unqualified and she opposes community public schools. Oppose federal funding of privatization.