Sen. Alexander defends DeVos confirmation vote - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Sen. Alexander defends DeVos confirmation vote

Sen. Lamar Alexander (SOURCE: Facebook) Sen. Lamar Alexander (SOURCE: Facebook)
WASHINGTON, D.C. (WMC) -

Thousands of people flooded the phone lines, social media, and email of senators prior to the confirmation of Betsy DeVos. Senator Lamar Alexander's (R-Tenn) office was one of those that received the thousands of contacts from people expressing disapproval with the choice for Education Secretary.

DeVos received the confirmation after a 50-50 vote in the senate, with Vice President Mike Pence casting the deciding vote to break the tie.

Alexander was one of the senators who threw his support behind DeVos. 

Following his support for DeVos, many took to social media to express their discontent and anger toward the senator. Many said they tried to call and get through to talk to Alexander, but were unsuccessful.

"I tried to get through on your phone line every single day last week, more times than I can count on each of those days...tell me exactly how they reached you, because it sure looks like you only want to hear from people who will agree with you. I am disgusted by you and will never again vote for you...ever," wrote Karen Hendrick on Alexander's Facebook page.

Hendrick wasn't alone, some saying Alexander changed his position on education with his vote for DeVos.

"I am extremely disappointed that you have changed your emphasis on those in education being well qualified to this - the vote for unqualified DeVos. Your name was not listed in those who were bought but I wonder, perhaps you are being strong-armed by the party. Too bad. I thought you were a good Republican. I was very wrong. Your standards in education didn't matter when it mattered most," wrote Donna Reagan.

However, Alexander is defending his vote and said DeVos cares about students and wants to improve the schools. 

“We heard from thousands of people, and I am always glad to hear from people about it. About more than half of the people who called were from outside Tennessee. I took some of the calls myself and talked with teachers and others who called concerned, and I was happy to talk with them. Mrs. DeVos cares about children. She spent the last 30 years focused on more effective public schools. She spent a lot of her own money trying to help low-income kids have the choice of better schools that wealthy people have, and she believes in local control of education. Now that sounds like the kind of education secretary that any Republican president would appoint, so no one should be surprised by that.”

Alexander posted a video to his Facebook page of him taking calls leading up to the confirmation vote from people expressing their opinions on Betsy DeVos. 

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