Government Matters: Opposing views on DeVos confirmation

News of Your Government

WKTV Staff


Following the U.S. Senate confirmation of West Michigan’s Betsy DeVos as President Donald Trump’s choice for Secretary of Education, local U.S. Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-MI) and U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) had very different responses.


Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-MI)

Rep. Huizenga, in a Wednesday, Feb. 8, post on his Facebook account, said: “Congratulations to West Michigan’s own Betsy DeVos on being confirmed by the Senate as the next Secretary of Education. Betsy will work tirelessly and fight to ensure that every child in America, no matter their zip code, has access to a quality education.”


Sen. Stabenow was not quite so congratulatory.


Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)

In a Feb. 8 supplied statement, Sen. Stabenow said: “I am deeply disappointed that Senate Republicans confirmed Betsy DeVos to lead the Department of Education. I’ve heard from an overwhelming number of Michigan families who have shared their strong concerns about her long record of pushing policies that have seriously undermined public education in Michigan and failed our children. That is why I joined with half of my Senate colleagues, including two Republicans, to oppose her nomination.”


Sen. Peters comments on President’s nomination for Supreme Court


U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D -MI), on Feb. 1, issued the following statement on President Donald Trump’s nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch, who currently serves on the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States:


U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI)

“Just as President Obama did, President Trump has a constitutional responsibility to nominate Justices to fill vacancies on the Supreme Court, and the U.S. Senate has a constitutional responsibility to consider those nominees. For 293 days, Senate Republicans failed to fulfill that duty by denying President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, the same thorough and public consideration process that they are now urging for President Trump’s nominee.


“I take very seriously the Senate’s responsibility to advise and consent on all nominees, and every individual who could be serving on our nation’s highest court deserves to be fully vetted. As President Trump’s nominee moves through the judicial hearing process, I will be carefully reviewing his qualifications to serve on the Supreme Court, which is a pillar of American democracy.”


Sen. Peters introduces Legislation Helps Protect Domestic Violence Victims and Their Pets


U.S. Senators Gary Peters (D-MI), along with Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV), on Feb. 8, reintroduced the Pet and Women Safety (PAWS) Act, legislation to protect victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and dating violence from emotional and psychological trauma caused by violence against their pets.


Multiple studies have shown that domestic abusers often seek to manipulate or intimidate their victims by threatening or harming their pets, but according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), only three percent of domestic violence shelters across the country accept pets. Similar legislation is being introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives.


“Abusers often exploit the emotional attachment victims have with their pets, leaving victims of domestic violence stuck choosing between their own safety or leaving a beloved pet in harm’s way,” Sen. Peters said in supplied material. “I’m proud to join my colleagues in introducing this bipartisan legislation that will help empower victims to leave abusive situations, get a fresh start and keep their pets who are treasured members of their families.”