A couple hundred people gathered in downtown Portland Friday to protest the nomination of Betsy DeVos as U.S. Education Secretary.
Democratic Sen.Jeff Merkley said he received a petition signed by more than 1.4 million concerned Americans.
“Betsy DeVos, did not go to a public school. She did not send her children to a public school. She did not study education in order to teach in a public school. I don’t know if she’s ever set foot inside a public school," he said.
"That makes her tremendously unqualified to be secretary of education," Merkley said.
DeVos is a billionaire and Republican activist in Michigan, where she's tried to amend the state constitution to create a voucher system for students to attend non-public schools.
Merkley was joined by Democratic representatives Earl Blumenauer and Suzanne Bonamici.
DeVos’s nomination is awaiting in the Senate.