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Collins Votes to Advance DeVos Nomination, but Remains Undecided on Confirmation

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican, has not yet taken a firm position on the nomination of Betsy DeVos to be education secretary. 

But during a meeting of the Senate's Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Tuesday morning, Collins agreed to allow DeVos's nomination to go to the full Senate for a vote.

Before that, though, Collins - and fellow Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski, of Alaska, expressed reservations about the nominee's testimony.

“I will continue to evaluate this nomination before it comes to the floor for a vote, even as I vote today to advance it, ”  Collins said.

Collins said she's concerned that DeVos expressed no understanding of the landmark IDEA law that guarantees a public school education to those with disabilities.

The committee voted 12 to 11 to recommend that DeVos be confirmed by the full Senate. Collins says she has not decided how she will vote on the nomination when the Senate takes it up.

Journalist Mal Leary spearheads Maine Public's news coverage of politics and government and is based at the State House.