The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions on Monday evening announced that it would delay the confirmation hearing for Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the Education Department, Betsy DeVos, from Wednesday Jan. 11 to Tuesday Jan. 17.
— HELP Committee GOP (@GOPHELP) January 10, 2017
The statement from the HELP Committee came after Democratic senators ramped up calls to delay confirmation hearings until after the Office of Government Ethics has completed reviews of the nominees. The Senate is still waiting on Devos’ ethics review, but Republicans did not attribute the delay to the lack of an ethics report.
The office of Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), the committee’s chair, also told the Washington Post that the hearing postponement will not delay DeVos’ confirmation overall.
“Betsy DeVos is an outstanding nominee who has complied with all of the committee’s requirements and no one doubts that she will be confirmed as Education Secretary,” an aide to Alexander told the Post. “This hearing delay is simply to accommodate the Senate schedule.”
An aide to Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), the committee’s ranking member, told the Washington Post that Murray hopes “this additional time will allow Ms. DeVos to complete the required ethics paperwork in time for the Office of Government Ethics to submit it to the HELP Committee before her hearing, just as every single one of President Obama’s nominees did and as Leader McConnell demanded eight years ago.”
DeVos is a prominent Michigan Republican from a family of influential conservative donors. Her husband, Dick DeVos was a driving force behind the state’s right-to-work law, and her father founded the conservative Family Research Council. Betsy DeVos is a big school choice proponent who has pushed for the expansion of charter schools and voucher programs.