Indiana teachers hold sit-in to demand Young recuse himself from DeVos vote

Indiana teachers hold sit-in to demand Young recuse himself from DeVos vote
© Greg Nash

A group of teachers in Indiana held a sit-in at the office of a senator they say should recuse himself from the vote to confirm President Trump’s pick for secretary of Education.

The teachers say Betsy DeVos gave Sen. Todd YoungTodd Christopher YoungRestlessness, light rule-breaking and milk spotted on Senate floor as impeachment trial rolls on Impeachment trial forces senators to scrap fundraisers Iran resolution supporters fear impeachment will put it on back burner MORE (R-Ind.) $48,000 in donations last year, according to a report by local news outlet WTHR, which they say make his vote a conflict of interest.

“Why would she pay so much, with so much desire to have this job if she were unqualified for it?” said one teacher said to WTHR at Thursday’s sit-in.

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Young is a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, which is scheduled to hold an executive session to vote on DeVos’s nomination on Jan. 31. 

Young’s staff reportedly said the senator does not plan to recuse himself from the vote, citing other senators who have received donations from previous presidents' Cabinet picks.

Sen. Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyGinsburg health scare raises prospect of election year Supreme Court battle Watchdog accuses pro-Kavanaugh group of sending illegal robotexts in 2018 Lobbying world MORE (D-Ind.) reportedly received $5,000 from Penny PritzkerPenny Sue PritzkerBiden's new campaign ad features Obama speech praising him Obama Commerce secretary backs Biden's 2020 bid DNC hauls in .5 million in June MORE, who was confirmed as secretary of Commerce under President Obama in 2013.

Donnelly has said he will oppose DeVos for Education secretary, citing her lack of “commitment to public education needed to effectively lead the Department of Education.” 

Liberal groups have made thousands of calls to Senate offices of members of the Education Committee to protest DeVos's nomination.