U.S. Sen. John N. Kennedy told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that he expects President Donald Trump's cabinet nominees and nominee for U.S. Supreme Court will secure enough votes in the chamber for confirmation, despite concerns raised by critics.
"This was a change versus status quo election," Kennedy said in the interview, which aired on CNN at about 5:30 p.m. (central) on Wednesday. "The people voted for change and we're going to provide that change."
Kennedy, a Madisonville Republican who served as state treasurer for 16 years, was sworn in as Louisiana's newest senator in January.
During the interview with Blitzer, Kennedy voiced his support particularly for the controversial Education Secretary nominee Betsy DeVos. Speculation has mounted this week that DeVos, a proponent of vouchers and charter schools, may not muster enough votes for confirmation after some Republicans indicated they may vote against her.
"She's stepped on some toes because she wants to change things," Kennedy said, adding that he thinks radical improvements are needed in elementary and secondary education.
Kennedy has for several years volunteered three times a year to serve as a substitute teacher in local schools.
"I know what it's like to be a teacher," Kennedy said. "It's tough."
Kennedy also said he supports Trump's recent executive order putting an indefinite freeze on allowing refugees from Syria into the United States.
"How are you gonna vet them?" he said. "We certainly can't call the Syrian government."
Blitzer questioned Kennedy about Syrian refugees, including those in Louisiana, who are looking to improve their lives and be good citizens.
"It only takes one," Kennedy replied.
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