Democrats Request Hearings on ED Appointees
Democrats on the Senate education committee, along with Vermont Independent Bernie Sanders, are calling for full hearings prior to any committee votes on the Trump administration's nominees for key posts at the U.S. Education Department, according to a press release.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos made clear during her confirmation hearings that she would rely heavily on other appointees to drive policy and oversight in higher education policy. Based on this testimony, Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Bob Casey (D-PA) Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Al Franken (D-MN), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), and Chris Murphy (D-CT) sent a letter on Tuesday to committee chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) requesting hearings on a number of subcabinet-level appointees at the department, including Deputy Secretary, Under Secretary, General Counsel, and Assistant Secretaries with authority over policy, civil rights, and postsecondary education.
The lawmakers noted that there is a precedent for holding such hearings and a "uniquely strong case" can be made now. "Secretary DeVos's inexperience requires that we ensure subcabinet-level appointees - especially those with influence over the $150 billion in grants and loans that the federal government distributed annually to schools and students and the federal government's $1 trillion student loan program - have the knowledge, experience, and willingness to administer critical student aid programs and execute established federal policy," wrote the senators.
U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren's Press Release
Letter to Senate HELP Chairman Lamar Alexander