Senator Al Franken just shouted "No!" It was his vote against Donald Trump's nominee for Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos. And he meant it.
All but two Republicans just voted for Donald Trump's nominee for Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos. Vice President Mike Pence broke the tie and she was confirmed.
It should not have gotten this far.
DeVos does not know the basics of education policy. As Senator Al Franken (D-MN) exposed at her Senate confirmation hearing, she did not even know the difference between growth (how much individual students improve over time, regardless of where they start) and proficiency (how many students meet a certain level that's been deemed proficient).
It is a question with critical consequences for our children, parents, and the American education system.
As Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) stated, she is the “least qualified nominee in a historically unqualified cabinet.”
At the Democrat's all-night floor session to hold up DeVos' nomination, Franken made plain exactly how her nomination should have played out:
We would not accept a Secretary of Defense who couldn’t name the branches of the military. We wouldn’t accept a Secretary of State who couldn’t identify Europe on a map. We wouldn’t accept a Treasury Secretary who doesn’t understand multiplication.
In fact, in nearly any circumstances, if a candidate for a job is asked a question that basic and that important and simply whiffs on it the way that Mrs. DeVos did, there's no second question. Just a "Thank you for your time, we'll let you know, and will you please send in the next candidate."
Thank you for your time, Senator Franken. Please keep fighting.