德沃斯一票险胜,成功担任美国教育部长
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编译自:Education nominee Betsy DeVos wins Senate confirmation vote

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-38897507

当地时间2月7日下午,特朗普提名教育部长贝茨·德沃斯(Betsy DeVos)在参议院以51比50的投票结果,得到正式确认通过。其中,打破僵局的关键一票来自副总统彭斯。

由于缺乏公立教育体系相关经验,德沃斯自接受提名以来就饱受争议。上月在提名听证会上对教育政策的“无知”表现更是让此次投票“险象环生”。民主党人开启了一场耗时24小时的“马拉松式”辩论发言,希望借此争取到更多共和党人的支持。

当天, 在共和党以52个席位占多数优势的参议院,缅因州共和党参议员Susan Collins和阿拉斯加州共和党参议员Lisa Murkowski、两位独立派参议员,以及全部46名民主党参议员投了反对票,出现50票赞成、50票反对的平局结果。最终,副总统彭斯出手拯救了处于败落边缘的德沃斯,让她得以通过。

自此,德沃斯成为第一位需要动副总统进行调停才能获得通过的内阁部长。上次由美国副总统投出决定性的一票还是在2008年切尼(Dick Cheney)在任期间。

德沃斯的公公是直销品牌安利的创始人Richard DeVos,其家庭拥有大约51亿美元的财富,是共和党的“大金主”,而她自己及其子女从未曾进入过公立教育体系,和此前的教育部长们形成反差。

德沃斯在居住的密歇根州曾积极支持择校制度,支持把公共资源划拨给私立学校。对此,美国大型教师联盟团体纷纷表示担忧和抗议,他们认为这会给该国公立教育造成巨大冲击。

Education nominee Betsy DeVos wins Senate confirmation vote

Critics say Mrs DeVos, who has no experience with public schools, is not qualified to run the Education Department

The US Senate has confirmed President Donald Trump’s controversial nominee for education secretary, Betsy DeVos, by the slenderest possible margin.

US Vice-President Mike Pence cast the tie-breaking vote to secure her cabinet role, splitting the chamber 50-50.

It was the first time ever that a vice-president has interceded in such a way for a cabinet secretary.

Mrs DeVos, a billionaire who has no experience with public schools, faced a rocky confirmation hearing last month.

Moments after voting ended, she tweeted: “I appreciate the Senate’s diligence & am honored to serve as @usedgov Secretary.

“Let’s improve options & outcomes for all US students.”

Senate Democrats staged a 24-hour debate into Tuesday to hold up her confirmation.

     Why is DeVos so unpopular?

     The people around Donald Trump

They hoped their all-night speaking marathon would pressure more Republican senators to oppose the nomination, but their efforts were in vain.

Mr Pence later swore in Mrs DeVos as education secretary.

He was also the first vice-president to cast a deciding vote in the Senate since 2008, when Dick Cheney voted on a tax adjustment plan.

No Democrats voted in favour of Mrs DeVos. Two Republican senators stood by their plan to oppose her confirmation, leaving the Senate in a deadlock.

Image copyright AP Image caption Vice-president Pence (seated left) cast the deciding vote

________________________________________

Analysis – Anthony Zurcher, BBC News North America Reporter

In the end Donald Trump is going to get the team he wants.

Betsy DeVos’s education secretary nomination looked a bit shaky for a while, but no Republican senator was willing to be the third “no” vote that would have sunk her.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s ties to Russia made some conservatives uneasy, and prompted sharp questioning from Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, but the former oil magnate’s party closed ranks behind him.

The only real question mark left is labour secretary nominee Andrew Puzder, whose confirmation hearings have been postponed four times amid reports that he has not fully disentangled himself from his sprawling fast-food business empire.

If he withdraws, however, it will be quietly, before a confrontation with Democrats heats up.

Democrats always faced an uphill battle in bringing down any of Mr Trump’s cabinet nominees, given the mathematical reality of being in the Senate minority.

Republicans were loath to deal an early, embarrassing setback to the new president, possibly earning his long-term enmity.

The fight over Mrs DeVos and other nominees has engaged the Democratic base, however.

Now the question is whether they will stay engaged in the months and years ahead – or if this initial surge of activism will recede over time.

________________________________________

Critics say Mrs DeVos is unqualified to run the Department of Education.

She faced intense scrutiny before a Senate committee in January, when she made headlines for noting that a Wyoming school might need a gun to defend against grizzly bears.

Labour unions, rights groups and teaching organisations have also spoken out against her nomination.

Groups including the American Federation of Teachers and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights held protests against Mrs DeVos outside of Congress on Monday evening.

Image copyright EPA Image caption Mrs DeVos has faced mounting criticism from groups including the American Civil Liberties Union and the American Federation of Teachers

The 59-year-old is a wealthy Republican Party donor and a former Michigan Republican Party chairwoman who has long campaigned for education reform in the state.

She is a champion of charter schools, which are publicly funded but operate outside state school systems.

Her husband Dick DeVos was a chief executive of the beauty and nutrition giant Amway and her brother is Erik Prince, the founder of the controversial private security company Blackwater.

She is among several of Mr Trump’s cabinet picks whom Democrats have been trying to block from being approved.

Democrats said in January they would target eight of Mr Trump’s nominees based on their lack of qualifications and policy positions.

Before Mrs DeVos’ approval, just six of Mr Trump’s cabinet picks had been confirmed, compared with former President Barack Obama’s 12 cabinet secretaries at this point in 2009 and 16 of George W Bush’s in 2001, according to the Washington Post.

The slowed process is also partly due to the fact that some of Mr Trump’s picks have not completed a lengthy vetting process typically required of Cabinet candidates, which helps identify potential conflicts of interest.

Hundreds of staff positions also remain vacant as the fate of 15 of Trump administration’s nominees hangs in the balance.

 

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