WASHINGTON D.C. – Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), and First Vice Chair Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) made the following statement today after Betsy DeVos was confirmed as Secretary of Education by the U.S. Senate. Ms. DeVos, having failed to earn the support of a majority of Senators, had to rely on Vice President Pence’s vote to break a 50-50 tie for the first time in U.S. history.

“Today, Senate Republicans voted against the best interests of America’s students and working families, and in favor of billionaires, who put profits ahead of the education of our children. Betsy DeVos is unqualified to serve as Secretary of Education because she doesn’t believe in public education.  

“DeVos has no experience working in public education, and her recent Senate confirmation hearings demonstrated she lacks the knowledge, experience, and compassion to run a Department of Education that works for all students and puts their interests first. She has worked tirelessly to gut funding for public education and has fought to turn schools into profit-making schemes for her wealthy friends. Student debt and the cost of childcare continue to be two of the most pressing issues in our country, yet DeVos has been silent on bold solutions like debt-free college and universal childcare. And she has a history of opposing equal protections for LGBTQ students.

“Americans have voiced an overwhelming opposition to DeVos’ nomination. The CPC will continue to fight with these Americans for a strong public school system that serves all students, regardless of their ZIP code. Again, Trump, who promised to drain the swamp and stand up for working people, has betrayed on both scores as he adds yet another billionaire who seeks to line the pockets of their friends at the expense of the American people by privatizing our education.”

 The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) is the largest caucus within the House Democratic Caucus, with over 70 members standing up for progressive ideals in Washington and throughout the country. Since 1991, the CPC has advocated for progressive policies that prioritize working Americans over corporate interests, fight economic and social inequality, and promote civil liberties. The CPC champions progressive policy solutions like comprehensive immigration reform, a $15 national minimum wage, fair trade, gun violence reform, debt-free college, and making the federal government a Model Employer.