WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Education today released the Administration’s budget request for the 2019 fiscal year. The budget builds upon President Donald J. Trump’s commitment to expand education freedom for all families and return power to local leaders.
“The president’s budget request expands education freedom for America’s families while protecting our nation’s most vulnerable students,” said Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. “The budget also reflects our commitment to spending taxpayer dollars wisely and efficiently by consolidating and eliminating duplicative and ineffective federal programs that are better handled at the state or local level. I look forward to working with Congress to pass a budget that puts students first and returns power in education to where it belongs: with states, districts and families.”
Phone calls jammed congressional switchboards. Two Republican senators defected. Democrats held a last-ditch, 24-hour Senate debate in hope of shaking loose one additional vote.
“We just need one more,” said Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), who was leading the effort. “Let’s ask President Trump to send us someone who is qualified.”
But the effort is not expected to be enough to prevent Betsy DeVos from becoming U.S. secretary of Education.
DeVos will probably squeak through the confirmation process on Tuesday with the tie-breaking vote of Vice President Mike Pence and the participation of Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), whose own confirmation vote for attorney general was scheduled for just after DeVos’ to ensure his vote would be available.