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Betsy DeVos resigns, citing violent unrest in Capitol

Betsy DeVos resigns, citing violent unrest in Capitol

Higher Ed Dive

Jeremy Bauer-Wolf
January 7, 2020



Dive Brief:
  • U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced her resignation Thursday, citing the mob attack at the nation’s Capitol that delayed the process of certifying the presidential election results for several hours.
  • DeVos was one of the most contentious but enduring members of President Donald Trump’s cabinet. She wrote in a letter to the president that Wednesday’s violent protests were “the inflection point” for her.
  • Her tenure was characterized by the rollback and replacement of prominent Obama-era rules and guidance, including around how colleges respond to sexual assaults, as well as oversight of for-profit colleges.
Dive Insight:
DeVos, a billionaire and longtime GOP supporter, had a rocky start in the Trump administration, beginning with her high-profile confirmation hearings during which she infamously stumbled over basic questions from lawmakers and cited the need for guns in K-12 schools to protect them from grizzly bears.
She was a widely unpopular pick among legislators and education groups on the left. She barely passed muster with the Senate during her confirmation, with Vice President Mike Pence needing to serve as the tie-breaking vote.

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