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Watch: Betsy DeVos Gets Snippy but Can’t Even Answer Basic Questions Before Congress

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Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos testified before a House Appropriations subcommittee Thursday and was repeatedly unable to answer basic questions, got snippy with Democratic lawmakers, and falsely claimed research cited by top Democrats was wrong and had been “debunked.”

(The numbers behind that research came from DeVos herself, according to this piece in the Washington Post.)

In an exchange with Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI), DeVos got heated, refuted his claims, and yet was unable to give a correct answer.

“Everything you’re citing is debunked, ridiculous, so I don’t accept the premise of your question,” DeVos, putting the word “question” in air quotes, told Pocan.

Congressman Pocan was referring to reports that show more than 40 percent of charter schools funded in full or in part by the federal government “collected the grants and then either did not open, or have opened and shut down,” as the report’s author wrote in The Washington Post.

Pocan responded by correctly saying the reports have “actually not” been debunked.

Minutes later Pocan revisited the 40 percent failure rate of charter schools, to DeVos’ anger.

“That is not true, that has been a totally debunked report,” she declared, waving her finger. “It’s nothing but propaganda by an individual who has an in for charter schools.”

“So what percent of charter schools are failing?” Pocan asked.

DeVos’ mouth opened and her jaw dropped but she did not speak for several seconds.

“Do you have an idea?” Pocan pressed.

“I don’t have a state – national,” DeVos, flustered, replied.

“You’re the Secretary of Education and you don’t have this? You ‘know’ this report’s wrong, but you don’t –” Pocan said before being cut off.

“Charter schools are chartered by states, they are not chartered by the federal government,” DeVos said, smiling, as if she won a debate. She had not. She had, however, ignored that the report shows 40.5% of charter schools received some if not all of their funding from the federal government.

“You know that number’s not right but you don’t have a correct number,” Pocan responded.

“What I know is parents and families are choosing to send their children to charter schools,” said DeVos.

“So you don’t know the answer?” Pocan again asked.

“Parents and children are going to charter schools by choice,” DeVos repeated, showing she has little interest in anything but continuing to fund charter schools, regardless of the cost to taxpayers or the cost to students who don’t receive a good education, and the cost to public school students who lose funding every day a student attends a charter school instead of a public school.

That, too, is somewhat false. After three years of an anti-public schools Secretary of Education, parents are learning that charter schools “make up an outsized share of the number of public schools persistently graduating less than half of their students.”

Americans are “turning against” charter schools reveals another Washington Post report.

Watch this exchange between Devos and Pocan:

 

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$15 Minimum Wage Dealt a Blow – Not Allowed in COVID Relief Bill, Senate Parliamentarian Rules

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The Democrats’ plan, engineered by Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-VT), to pass a nationwide $15 minimum wage cannot be achieved by including the legislation in the Biden administration’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill, the Senate parliamentarian ruled Thursday evening, CNBC reports.

Democrats intend to pass the relief bill via reconciliation, a method that would require just a simple majority.

Politico reported late last week Sen. Sanders was “confident” the $15 minimum wage could be achieved through the reconciliation process, adding that “President Joe Biden has not been as optimistic as the Vermont independent about the prospects of minimum wage working via reconciliation, though he supports a $15 minimum wage.”

“President Biden has promised to support a standalone bill to raise the minimum wage to $15/hour, but it’s unlikely to get any Republican support,” Axios has also reported.

A $15 minimum wage would life 900,000 people out of poverty.

 

This is a breaking news and developing story. 

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Democrats Pass LGBTQ Equality Act With Support of Just Three Republicans

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House Democrats have passed the historic LGBTQ Equality Act, legislation that expands the protections of the 1964 Civil Rights Act to protect against sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination. The vote was 224-206. Just three Republicans voted in favor of the bill.

President Joe Biden has said he wants to sign the legislation into law during his first 100 days. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) will be in a position to make that possible, should all Democratic Senators support the bill. 60 votes will be needed under current filibuster rules.

The House also passed similar legislation in May of 2019, but then-Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to allow the bill to come to the floor for a vote.

Some news outlets are characterizing the bill as offering “sweeping” protections, but contrary to what most Americans believe, LGBTQ people have no federal law offering them specific protections. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 offers appropriate, not “sweeping” protections.

Recent court decisions, including the Supreme Court’s 2020 Bostock decision, have ruled the Civil Right Act applies to LGBTQ people, but the Equality Act will ensure these protections are realized.

In a sign of the further extremism of the Republican Party, the 2019 Equality Act passed with five more GOP votes than it did today.

Two Republicans who voted to pass the bill in 2019 voted against passing today’s bill.

This is a breaking news and developing story. 

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Right Wingers Outraged Biden Hasn’t Delivered SOTU – Claim It Was Required by Feb. 20 – Capitol Police Issue Warning

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Right wingers on social media are spreading misinformation, falsely claiming President Joe Biden was required to deliver the State of the Union Address, with some claiming a February 20 deadline. Their false claims and the fact-checking responses caused “SOTU” to trend on Twitter Thursday afternoon.

The outrage comes on the same day acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman told the House Appropriations Committee right wing extremists, which she called “militia” members, “have stated their desires that they want to blow up the Capitol and kill as many members” of the House and Senate “as possible.”

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has not yet set a date for what would be a joint session of Congress. The President does not deliver a State of the Union address during his first year in office.

The February 20 claim, which is false, apparently originated or was made popular by this Facebook post, which initiated a USA Today fact check stating it is “false information.”

Despite the ignorance of the MAGA crowd and right wingers, the U.S. Constitution is clear, offering little in the way of expectations for an address to Congress.

Article II, Section 3, Clause 1 states the President “shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the state of the union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.”

No date, mode, or even frequency is mandated. Earlier in U.S. history the President wrote Congress a letter.

Here’s a failed Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate from New Jersey suggesting the Constitution requires a State of the Union Address. She claims she is “Asking on behalf of the Constitution.”

This MAGAite suggests President Biden is a “fraud,” and “unelected, illegitimate & totally unfit” because he hasn’t delivered a State of the Union address.

A Washington Times columnist falsely claiming President Biden can’t stand up long enough to deliver an address:

Former NRA spokesperson and pro-gun extremist thinks it was supposed to have been delivered “yesterday.”

“Conservative Christian”:

 

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