Betsy DeVos's Senate confirmation hearing is set for Wednesday at 10 a.m.
Elizabeth Warren is a senator on the committee conducting that hearing
In a scathing 16-page letter addressed to Donald Trump’s nominee for education secretary, Sen. Elizabeth Warren gave a preview Monday of the questioning that Democrats plan to engage in during cabinet confirmation hearings that are set to begin this week.
Warren slams US Department of Education Secretary nominee Betsy DeVos on her credentials for the position, but most notably her lack of experience concerning public education.
“There is no precedent for an Education Department Secretary nominee with your lack of experience in public education,” wrote Senator Warren. “While past nominees for Secretary of Education have served as teachers, school system leaders, and governors, and came to the Department of Education with deep executive experience in public education, you have held no such position. As such, your nomination provides the Senate and the public with few clues about your actual policy positions on a host of critical issues.”
When asked for response to Warren’s letter, Trump transition team responded with a statement: “The Secretary designate is looking forward to her confirmation hearing on Wednesday and responding to questions from all members on the Senate HELP committee.”
The Democratic senator from Massachusetts continues by calling out DeVos’s policy agenda having been funded through large political donations. Warren has been a proponent of campaign finance reform throughout her tenure in the Senate.
“You and the organizations you led have also spent millions to promote policies that send more public funds to for-profit and virtual charter schools with no accountability for how well these schools serve students or how these taxpayer dollars are spent,” Warren writes.
DeVos’s hearing is set for Wednesday at 10 a.m. ET before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, a committee which Warren belongs to.
In a statement in November announcing her nomination, Trump complemented her credentials as an education advocate and said DeVos will change the way the US approaches education.
“Betsy DeVos is a brilliant and passionate education advocate,” he said. “Under her leadership we will reform the US education system and break the bureaucracy that is holding our children back so that we can deliver world-class education and school choice to all families.”
In recent days, Warren has tweeted often about Trump’s cabinet nominees, specifically about their ethics paperwork that has not yet been filed, despite the fact that their nomination hearings begin this week.
In a letter to Democratic senators, Walter Schaub, the director of the Office of Government Ethics confirmed that several candidates, including DeVos, still have not yet been vetted.
“I am not aware of any occasion in the four decades since OGE was established when the Senate held a confirmation hearing before the nominee had completed the ethics review process,” wrote Schaub.