Tags: Trump Administration | betsy devos | confirmation | hearing | undercoached

Betsy DeVos: I Was 'Undercoached' Before Senate Confirmation Hearing

Image: Betsy DeVos: I Was 'Undercoached' Before Senate Confirmation Hearing
(Ted S. Warren/AP Photo)

By    |   Wednesday, 01 November 2017 02:27 PM

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos said she was not properly prepared for her Senate confirmation hearing by President Donald Trump's transition team.

"I think I was undercoached," DeVos said in a Politico profile.

"The transition group was very circumspect about how much information they gave me about then-current policy and… it was in their view a balance between being prepared for a confirmation hearing and not having well-formed opinions on what should and shouldn't change, so as not to get caught in a confirmation hearing making commitments that then I wouldn't want to or be able to keep," DeVos said in Politico.

"And in hindsight, I wish I had a whole lot more information," DeVos added.

The secretary noted that she was not able to defend her policy positions in the media afterward.

"During the confirmation process, I wasn't able to talk with the media at all. I wasn't able to express anything from my perspective. So it gave weeks and weeks of open shots for my opponents to take," the education secretary said in Politico.

DeVos was confirmed with a 51-50 vote in the Senate, when Vice President Mike Pence broke the tie in DeVos' favor — the first time a vice president had to break a tie for a Cabinet nomination.

Politico noted she has little authority to take action regarding K-12 schools, but has more leverage for higher education policy. DeVos has undone a number of rules enacted by education secretaries under President Barack Obama.

Those moves have led to criticism.

"It's hard watching someone whose only vision is undoing everything we did for eight years," said Matt Lehrich, an Obama appointee to the department, Politico reported.

The secretary, a proponent of school choice, dressed as "Magic School Bus" character Ms. Frizzle for Halloween on Tuesday, which drew criticism from Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio.

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Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos said she was not properly prepared for her Senate confirmation hearing by President Donald Trump's transition team.
betsy devos, confirmation, hearing, undercoached
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2017-27-01
Wednesday, 01 November 2017 02:27 PM
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