Kennedy Supports Cavazos for Cabinet Post, but Rips Bush
Lauro Cavazos, the first Latino selected for the U.S. Cabinet, was assured confirmation as education secretary today after a hearing dominated by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy’s harsh attacks on the record of the Reagan Administration and Vice President George Bush.
Cavazos, the 61-year-old son of a cowboy and president of Texas Tech University, won the support of Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat and chairman of the Senate Education Committee, and Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah), the ranking Republican. The panel is expected to vote next week to recommend his confirmation.
Although Kennedy was gentle and friendly in his questioning of Cavazos, he ripped into the Reagan-Bush record on education. Kennedy charged that the Administration has been “profoundly hostile” to the federal role in education and has “relentlessly” sought to cut spending and weaken programs--and even tried to abolish the Education Department.
“Vice President Bush is now trying to shed all that anti-education baggage by promising to be the ‘Education President,’ ” Kennedy said. “I wish he had shown some faint sign of this election-year conversion in the past eight years.”
Cavazos, in response to a Kennedy question, said he did not know whether the budget for fiscal 1990, now in the works and to be presented in January, will call for more or less federal education money. “However, I can promise,” Cavazos said, “I will do everything I can to get the best funding for the Department of Education. I will do my best to see that it goes up.”