Heated Exchange Ends With DeVos Refusing to Affirm She Will Protect Students From Anti-LGBT Discrimination
Betsy DeVos says her Dept. of Education will not work to protect LGBTQ students from discrimination nor will she establish a program to do so. TheÂ Secretary of Education appeared Tuesday morning before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee to discuss her education budget for 2018, when Democratic U.S. Senator Jeff MerkleyÂ of Oregon asked her about LGBTQ students.
Senator Merkley began by having Secretary DeVos agree all schools that receive federal funding must follow federal laws regarding discrimination.Â
“But those laws are somewhat foggy in that area, so I want to be absolutely clear about what you’re saying,” Sen. Merkley continued, asking DeVos if she were saying that private schools receiving federal funds would not be allowed to discriminate againstÂ LGBTQ students.
“Schools that receive federal funds must follow federal law,” DeVos responded, seemingly tossing out a rote response.
MerkleyÂ repeated that federal law on anti-LGBTQ discrimination is “foggy,” and asked her again if discrimination against LGBTQ students will be allowed.
“On areas where the law is unsettled, this Department is not going to be issuing decreesÂ â€“ ” DeVos began.Â
MerkleyÂ interjected, requesting she answer his question.
“That is a matter for Congress and the courtsÂ â€“ ” DeVos continued.
â€” CSPAN (@cspan) June 6, 2017
MerkleyÂ again interjected, asking her again to answer his question.
“On areas of unsettled law, Congress and the Supreme Court has to decide and settle.”
“Are you refusing to answer the question?” Merkley asked, as the exchange got heated.
“I’m going back to what I said earlier,” DeVos insisted.
“Well, what you said earlier didn’t help us,” MerkleyÂ noted. “But I think you just said is where it’s unsettled such discrimination will continue to be allowed under your program. If that’s incorrect please correct it for the record.”
But Senator Merkley wasn’t finished.
“How about discrimination based on religion? Will such discrimination be allowed with charter or private schools?”
As has become her pattern, DeVos stuck to her statement.
“Again, on schools that receive federal funds, federal law must be followed.”
MerkleyÂ asked again, insisting she “answer the question.”
“Schools that receive federal funds will follow federal law, period,” DeVos, with a somewhat defiant grin, responded.
“You’re refusing to answer the question. I think that’s very important for the publicÂ to know that today, the Secretary of Education Â before this Committee refused to affirm that she would put forth a program that would ban discrimination based on LGBTQ status of students, or ban discrimination based on religion.”
“Sir, that’s not what I said. Discrimination in any form is wrong,” DeVos offered, having noted previously she would take no action against it.
“Does your program ban discrimination?” MerkleyÂ pressed, referring to her charter and private school program.
“As I said before, and let me say again, schools that receive federal funds need to follow federal law. Period,” she said, again offering a grin.
During her last appearance before a Senate committee just two weeks ago, Secretary DeVosÂ said she has no problem with states that allow schools to discriminate against LGBT students while receiving federal funds, and believes that the federal government should not intervene. She also pointed to school choice as an opportunityÂ for parents to find schools that won’t discriminate against their children, if that’s something they want.
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US Organization Promoting Freedom in Other Countries Issues Warning to America
Freedom House, a U.S government-funded but independent non-profit (NGO) founded in 1941 to promote democracy, advance freedom, and fight fascism around the world on Wednesday found itself facing fascism at home.
First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt was Freedom House’s first co-chair. The organization was “founded on the core conviction that freedom flourishes in democratic nations where governments are accountable to their people; the rule of law prevails; and freedoms of expression, association, and belief, as well as respect for the rights of women, minorities and historically marginalized groups, are guaranteed.”
On Wednesday President Donald Trump refused to commit to the peaceful transition of power, saying, “get rid of the ballots and you’ll have a very trans- — we’ll have a very peaceful — there won’t be a transfer, frankly; there’ll be a continuation.”
Trump’s refusal to commit to a peaceful transfer of power – never before in question since the Declaration of Independence was signed 244 years ago – was by default a threat of violence, as MSNBC’s Chris Hayes said.
This is obvious, but still worth saying: declining to commit to a “peaceful transfer of power” is itself a threat of violence.
— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) September 23, 2020
Wednesday evening Freedom House issued what amounts to a warning – to its fellow Americans.
“A key tenet of democracy is that politicians respect the electoral process and the will of the people,” Freedom House said via Twitter. “There is nothing more anti-democratic than a leader who refuses to concede defeat.”
A key tenet of democracy is that politicians respect the electoral process and the will of the people. There is nothing more anti-democratic than a leader who refuses to concede defeat.https://t.co/YPvwoHRpvx
— Freedom House (@freedomhouse) September 23, 2020
‘Trump Is Advocating Civil War’: Reporter Stunned When President Refuses to Commit to Peaceful Transfer of Power
President Donald Trump on Wednesday refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power, instead sending a message to Democrats to “get rid of the ballots.”
Trump’s remarks were so disturbing the reporter who asked the question called it “the most frightening answer I have ever received to any question I have ever asked.”
Veteran journalist Brian Karem, a political analyst for CNN and the White House correspondent for Playboy, had asked the President the very simple question.
This is the most frightening answer I have ever received to any question I have ever asked. I’ve interviewed convicted killers with more empathy. @realDonaldTrump is advocating Civil War. https://t.co/8eMY9Csuhp
— Brian J. Karem (@BrianKarem) September 23, 2020
“Well we’re going to have to see what happens,” Trump replied. “I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots, the ballots are a disaster.”
“Get ri9d of the ballots and you’ll have – we’ll have a very peaceful – there won’t be a transfer, frankly, there will be a continuation.”
“The ballots are out of control. You know it, and you know who knows it? The Democrats.”
Ballots are how Americans cast their votes, and have been doing so for centuries.
President Trump is asked if he will commit to a peaceful transfer of power after the election
— CBS News (@CBSNews) September 23, 2020
‘I Have to Leave for an Emergency Phone Call’: Trump Splits From His Own Press Conference for a ‘Big Call’
President Donald Trump was late for his 6:00 PM press conference and literally left in the middle for an “emergency” phone call.
“I have to leave for an emergency phone call,” Trump told reporters in the White House press briefing room. As he tried to leave one reporter peppered him with spot-on questions about this afternoon’s decision by a grand jury to not charge any of the three Louisville police officers for the killing of Breonna Taylor.
Asked what the call was about, Trump replied, “I have a big call.”
Wow. Trump says he has to take "an emergency phone call" and walks away while ignoring a reporter's shouted question about what his message is to people who are upset over Breonna Taylor's killing pic.twitter.com/EWsjJOGwsg
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 23, 2020
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