Senate Deliberates Controversial DeVos Pick
The nomination of Betsy DeVos for education secretary is being deliberated in the Senate. Washington state’s Patty Murray said Democrats will stay on the Senate floor all night to call attention to DeVos’ lack of experience in public education. She accused DeVos of having an “anti-student agenda.” Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said DeVos “seems to constantly demean the main purpose of her job — public education.” Two Republicans have joined Democrats in opposing DeVos — Maine’s Susan Collins and Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski. DeVos is a strong advocate for charter schools and voucher programs.
Pence Honored To Head Commission Probing Alleged Voter Fraud
Vice President Pence says it will be an honor to lead a commission to investigate alleged voter fraud. Pence told Fox News that the integrity of the vote is at the center of American democracy. President Trump tapped Pence to head the new commission. Trump has stood by unsubstantiated claims that more than three-million illegal votes were cast in November’s presidential election. Some Democrats have suggested that Trump is pushing the illegal voting narrative as part of a broader effort to get more states to pass strict voter ID laws.
WMATA Planning 500 More Job Cuts
The bleeding isn’t done at Metro. WMATA has announced it plans to cut an additional 500 jobs in 2017. The transit agency announced today that 200 positions will be eliminated over the next month. That includes managers. Another 300 job cuts will then be considered by Metro’s Board. It’s the second such announcement in recent weeks. Metro had already announced an initial 500 positions would be cut this year.
DC’s Central Library To Close For 3 Years
People who use the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in downtown Washington will have a long wait during a renovation project. Officials say the library will close on March 4th and won’t reopen until 2020 at the earliest. A more than 200-million dollar makeover of the building will include a new auditorium and rooftop terrace and a new entrance. City officials say during the renovations, other libraries will offer expanded hours and resources to meet the spillover demand.
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Harold T. Fisher is a broadcast journalist and author. He is currently the host of the news/talk program, “The Daily Drum” on WHUR-FM and H-U-R Voices, Sirius/XM Channel 141. Highlights of his journalism campaigns include the aftermath of the earthquake in Port Au Prince, Haiti; coverage of the 2008 Democratic and Republican conventions; the Jena 6 protests in central Louisiana; the Midwestern floods of 1994 and hurricane Andrew in 1992.