Aide says Sen. Rand Paul will support Betsy DeVos nomination - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Aide says Sen. Rand Paul will support Betsy DeVos nomination

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Sen. Rand Paul R-Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul R-Kentucky

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- U.S. Sen. Rand Paul will support the confirmation of Betsy DeVos as President Donald J. Trump's choice for education secretary despite calls for some Republican senators to oppose her, a Paul spokeswoman said Thursday.

"Sen. Paul believes every child in Kentucky and America deserves a chance to get a quality education," a spokesperson told WDRB News on Thursday. "Increasing the choices parents and students have and getting Washington out of the way are the most important things the federal government can do to improve the education opportunities available to our children."

"Ms. DeVos is committed to those principles and Sen. Paul supports her nomination."

As a member of the Senate's education committee, Paul was among those who voted 12-11 in support of sending DeVos' nomination to the full Senate for consideration to head the U.S. Department of Education. The vote on the Senate floor could come as early as Friday.

On Wednesday, two of the 52 Republicans in the Senate announced their opposition to DeVos' confirmation.

Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine voiced "genuine concerns" over DeVos' candidacy.

Murkowski said DeVos has "much to learn" about the public school system and expressed concern over her strong support for "one side of the equation"; meaning charter and private schools.

If the two women vote against DeVos, the resulting 50-50 tie could be broken by Vice President Mike Pence in his role as presiding officer of the Senate.

Kentucky's other senator, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, has said he will vote to support DeVos.

Lawmakers, educators and others have been questioning Devos' experience and commitment to public schools, due to her background. She has never taught at or led a school, and she has been a supporter of charter schools and vouchers. 

DeVos, from Michigan, currently leads the advocacy group, American Federation for Children, and sits on the board of the Jeb Bush-led Foundation for Excellence in Education.

In nominating her for the position, Trump called her a "brilliant and passionate education advocate."

Paul has been a supporter of charter schools, even though they are currently not allowed in Kentucky. However, that is expected to change this legislative session.

"I'm for charter schools. I'm for choice....it's your money you should be able to take it where you want and I think competition will make us better," he said in a previous interview.

No presidential nominee has been rejected for confirmation by the Senate since John Tower, who was President George H.W. Bush's choice to be defense secretary in 1989.

Fox News and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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