President Trump had some pretty controversial cabinet picks, of which were first announced in 2016.
On Dec. 14, Rick Perry, former governor of Texas and “Dancing with the Stars” contestant, was officially nominated by President-elect Donald Trump even though he had previously shown his open opposition to the Department of Energy and is a strong denier of climate change.
Back in 2011, during his run for the Republican presidential nomination, he was asked which three federal departments he would dismantle if he had the choice. When answering, he simultaneously forgot the name of the Department of Energy and put it on his chopping block.
On Nov. 18, Jeff Sessions, former United States Attorney, Attorney General of Alabama, and U.S. Senator for the state of Alabama, was officially nominated for Attorney General of the United States by President-elect Donald Trump despite his history of racism.
When Sessions was running for a federal judgeship in 1986, his colleagues testified against him saying that he used the n-word and would joke about the Ku Klux Klan, saying that they were fine until he learned they smoked marijuana.
While the list of controversial cabinet picks could go on and on, we must cut to the chase to one of Trump’s most controversial secretary nominations: Betsy DeVos.
On Nov. 23, DeVos, former chair of the Michigan Republican party, was officially nominated by President-elect Donald Trump for the position of Secretary of Education, the head of the Department of Education.
During her confirmation hearing on Jan. 17, DeVos said that schools need access to guns because of the very real threat of grizzly bears.
Her confirmation hearing was later heckled by multiple TV personalities, including John Oliver, Jimmy Kimmel, James Corden, Stephen Colbert, Trevor Noah, and Kate McKinnon on “Saturday Night Live.”
The nomination for DeVos as Secretary of Education passed the committee with an 11-12 party-line vote, which pushed it forward towards the Senate.
On Feb. 1, the Senate vote was released as 50-50, meaning for the first time in U.S. history, the Vice President had to break the tie. This sealed the fate of DeVos as the United States Secretary of Education as he voted in favor of her appointment.
Over the past five years, she has made $5.3 million in donations towards political campaigns. This is a widely-agreed upon reason as to why she was nominated for her position in Trump’s cabinet.
DeVos is generally unpopular. Her main mission is to expand school choice and offering families vouchers for private schools.
Vouchers undermine religious liberty seeing as the vast majority of private schools are run by religious groups. These schools’ set religion is deeply integrated into their curriculum, often requiring their students to attend certain religious services.
Vouchers also decrease the chance of low-income families being able to have their children in schools, because payments often do not cover the students’ entire tuition or other mandatory fees for private schools.
Do not forget that DeVos has no experience in public schools.
“The sum total of her involvement has been spending her family’s wealth in an effort to dismantle public education in Michigan,” said Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers.
DeVos has been under the radar, but recently rumors broke that she is expected to resign from her position in Trump’s cabinet.
She has yet to fill senior positions in her department, and in her few months in office, she seems extremely behind.
“I’ll tell you, in Washington education circles, the conversation is already about the post-DeVos landscape, because the assumption is that she won’t stay long,” said Thomas Toch, the director of FutureEd at Georgetown’s McCourt School of Public Policy. “And for my money, I don’t think it would be a bad thing if she left. I think she’s been probably one of the most ineffective people to ever hold the job.”
With the idea of Devos’ resignation up in the air, all that’s left to wonder is what is going to put DeVos back into mainstream media. Will it be another idiotic thing she says, or will it be the formal announcement of her resignation?