Here’s what Elizabeth Warren wants to know from Trump’s education pick
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts. (Pete Marovich/Bloomberg)
In advance of this week’s confirmation hearing, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on Monday sent Betsy DeVos, President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for education secretary, a litany of questions that raise concerns about the billionaire’s qualifications for the job.
“The Secretary’s actions can make a real difference in whether or not Americans can get a fair shot in reaching the American Dream,” Warren wrote in the letter to DeVos. “Given that you have virtually no experience with these important responsibilities, your testimony … will be critical to assessing you readiness for the position.”
Democrats have been pressing Republican leaders on the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) to delay DeVos’s Jan. 11 hearing until the Office of Government Ethics reviews her background and financial investments for conflicts of interest. But Republicans say they have no plans to postpone the hearing.
Liberal lawmakers, teacher’s unions and advocacy groups worry that DeVos’ political contributions to expand charter schools and taxpayer-funded vouchers for private and religious schools will cloud her judgement in overseeing public schools. Many are also concerned that she has no stated positions on higher education, which has become a considerable responsibility for the agency since the Obama administration kicked the banks out of the federal student loan program.