U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer is defending her support for Betsy DeVos as a nominee for Education Secretary.
Many critics approached Fischer asking her to vote no, claiming DeVos lacks experience with public school systems. Fischer typically doesn’t talk about her votes until afterward. This time was different.
“I guess I could say I was a little irate over the headline in one story in one of our Nebraska papers saying I was a swing vote,” Fischer tells Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KFAB. “Usually I don’t make a statement until after I vote so I can give Nebraska reasons why I voted. That headline kind of stirred things up and so I thought it was necessary to come out and give how I was going to vote early.”
Critics contend DeVos is not the right candidate, because she never attended public school as a student, participated as a parent, supported or worked in a public school setting.
Fischer says she wanted to make sure DeVos was a strong supporter of local control. Fischer says she contacted the nominee and received a letter back stating DeVos believes that students should be considered members of a community with local control that includes parents, teachers and a school board. Fischer says DeVos also stated that schools are a state matter, a district matter and we should not see mandates from the federal government.
A number of protestors gathered outside Fisher’s Omaha office this weekend, asking the senator to vote against DeVos’ nomination.
Fisher says every citizen has the right to protest and do it respectfully and she says the protests outsider her office and calls to her office have been respectful.
A procedural vote on the DeVos nomination will be held today with the confirmation vote scheduled for tomorrow.