Report: Sen. Collins only opposed DeVos once she knew her vote wouldn’t matter
According to Republican sources quoted by Politico, Maine Senator Susan Collins waited to announce her opposition to Betsy DeVos, President Donald Trump’s nominee to head the Department of Education, until she knew “the rest of the votes for DeVos were locked up.”
If the current vote count holds, DeVos will be confirmed on Monday, with Vice President Mike Pence potentially casting a tie-breaking vote in the U.S. Senate.
Collins had previously cast two deciding votes along party lines in the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions to advance DeVos’ nomination to the consideration by the full body. At that point, Maine’s other U.S. Senator, independent Angus King, had already declared his opposition.
While many Maine progressives have praised Collins for her position on the final vote, with the Maine Education Association releasing a statement saying their members were “grateful,” some have criticized what they see as a cynical political ploy.
“Do not praise Senator Collins for opposing the DeVos nomination. This is calculated. She has a vote count. She knows her vote won’t be consequential and is appeasing those who flooded her office with calls,” wrote Rep. Ryan Fecteau, a Democratic state legislator from Biddeford, in a public Facebook post on Wednesday night. “If she wanted to oppose DeVos and represent the thousands of Mainers who support public education, she would have voted against DeVos in committee, thus preventing the nomination.”
“She’s playing us like a fiddle, unfortunately,” wrote Fecteau, who noted that he had previously voted for Collins.
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