May 24, 2017

DeVos: "Parents are the best equipped to make choices"

Carolyn Kaster / AP

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos testified in front of a House Appropriations Subcommittee today on the White House's proposed 2018 budget — but found herself in a testy exchange with Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA), who asked if there were situation where the federal government might step in and prevent discriminatory schools from using voucher programs:

DeVos: "The bottom line is we believe parents are the best equipped to make choices for their children's schooling and education decisions, and too many children today are trapped in schools that don't work for them. We have to do something different than continuing a top-down, one-size-fits-all approach. And that is the focus, and states and local communities are best equipped to make these decisions and framework on behalf of their —"
Clark: "I am shocked you cannot come up with one example of discrimination that you would stand up for students."

Go deeper

American carnage

Protesters race up a hill to avoid tear gas in Philadelphia, June 1. Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

The list of victims has swiftly grown since George Floyd died in police custody just eight days ago.

The big picture: Protests against police brutality have turned into a showcase of police brutality, with tear gas and rubber bullets deployed against crowds. The police have the arsenals at their disposal, but we're also seeing law enforcement officers becoming targets.

McConnell blocks resolution condemning Trump's actions against peaceful protesters

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) blocked a resolution introduced by Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday that would have condemned the use of tear gas and rubber bullets against peaceful protesters outside the White House on Monday in order to allow President Trump to walk to St. John's Church.

What they're saying: "Justice for black Americans in the face of unjust violence, and peace for our country in the face of looting, riots, and domestic terror. Those are the two issues Americans want addressed," McConnell said on the Senate floor.

George W. Bush breaks silence on George Floyd

Goerge Bush in Michigan in 2009. Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Former President George W. Bush (R) wrote in a statement Tuesday that he and his wife, Laura, are "anguished" by the death of George Floyd, and said that "it is time for America to examine our tragic failures."

Why it matters: It's a stark juxtaposition when compared to fellow Republican President Trump's response to current civil unrest. While Trump has called for justice in Floyd's death, he's also condemned protestors and threatened to deploy military personnel if demonstrations continue.