WASHINGTON, D.C. - Ohio Senator Rob Portman and Ohio Republican Party Chair Jane Timken are praising the conformation of President Trump's nominee for Education Secretary.
Betsy DeVos was confirmed as Secretary of Education Tuesday after a 50-50 tie was broken by Vice President Mike Pence. It was the first time the Vice President was needed to cast a tiebreaker vote for a Cabinet nominee.
Among the Senators voting for DeVos was Ohio's Rob Portman. After the vote, Portman released the following statement:
“Betsy DeVos is the daughter of a public school teacher, and I support her for the role of Secretary of Education because she has made clear in her response to questions that she will be a strong advocate for our kids and our public schools.
“An important fact that has been missed in the debate over her nomination is that she strongly supports local control of education and has pledged not to impose her own views on states and local school districts, but rather to allow them – along with parents – to make the decisions that best fit the needs of their children. She has also pledged to implement the laws as Congress intended them.
“As a strong supporter of Career and Technical Education (CTE), I’m pleased that she called CTE an ‘important priority’ and agrees that we must do more to give our young people the job skills to help them succeed.
“We must also work to protect the rights of students with disabilities to ensure they have access to a high-quality education. Betsy DeVos has made clear she will enforce the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and ‘protect the hard won rights of students with disabilities.’
“I also agree with Betsy that we must do more to make college education more affordable. Students are facing enormous challenges today, and we must do more to increase access to quality, and affordable higher education options.
“Finally, as was the case with President Obama’s nominees, I believe that presidents deserve considerable deference as they put together their team. I made this point when I was one of a handful of Republicans to support Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch.”
The head of the Ohio Republican Party also praised DeVos' confirmation. Party chair Jane Timken released the following statement:
"Today's confirmation of Betsy DeVos as U.S. Secretary of Education is a major win for Ohio families who want more say in how and where their children are educated. It also is a win for Ohio Republicans who, like Secretary DeVos, have spent decades advocating for these rights. Secretary DeVos' commitment to expanding educational opportunities, combined with record Republican majorities in the Ohio General Assembly, equals success for all Ohio students."