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Why Betsy DeVos’ Senate confirmation hearing was rescheduled

Jan 10, 2017

Betsy DeVos will have to wait another week for her Senate confirmation hearing.

The West Michigan billionaire and education reform advocate is President-elect Donald Trump's choice for secretary of education. The hearing at the U.S. Capitol was originally scheduled for tomorrow in front of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. Now it has been moved to Wednesday, Jan. 17. Why was the hearing rescheduled? 

Michigan Radio's Lansing Bureau Chief Rick Pluta joined Stateside from Washington D.C. to answer that very question.

According to Pluta, DeVos' ethics review has not been finalized and Senate Democrats fought to make sure it gets completed before the hearing takes place. There is also the issue of scheduling, as the incoming Trump administration is trying to push through several controversial nominees in a short period of time. The decision could be just a matter of wanting to spread out the hearings.

DeVos, the former head of the Michigan Republican Party, has been under attack lately over her qualifications and potential conflicts of interest – most notably from Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who wrote a 16-page letter to DeVos saying: "There is no precedent for an Education Department secretary nominee with your lack of experience in public education."

DeVos has long been a supporter of charter schools and voucher systems that would allow parents to choose between various school options. Despite the criticism from Democrats, Pluta said he hasn't talked to anyone who is under the impression that they have enough votes to block her confirmation.

Listen to the full interview above to hear more about what we could expect when the confirmation hearing takes place on Jan. 17, and what DeVos' approach could be when she faces the committee next week. 

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