DeVos threatened with subpoena by House oversight panel

Feb 3, 2020
In The News

House Oversight Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney on Monday threatened Education Secretary Betsy DeVos with a subpoena, saying DeVos' office “stonewalled and delayed” when the committee tried to confirm a date for her testimony.

In a letter to DeVos, Maloney (D-N.Y.) wrote that she had invited DeVos to testify on Jan. 29 about “critical issues facing the Department,” including oversight of federal student loans, policies on campus sexual harassment and assault, protections for students at for-profit colleges, the independence of the department’s inspector general and compliance with collective bargaining requirements.

Maloney pointed to DeVos' trip to Iowa on Monday, where she is campaigning for Trump on the day of the state's presidential caucuses. DeVos will head to Camp Hill, Penn., on Wednesday for a Women for Trump event with Vice President Mike Pence and Kellyanne Conway, a senior adviser at the White House.

“Ignoring—or defying— requests for congressional oversight in order to spend your time campaigning for President Trump is an abuse of your position as Secretary of Education,” Maloney wrote. “I am not suggesting that you may never campaign for the President, but you may not do so when it interferes with your official duties, including your duty to testify before Congress. If you will not agree to testify voluntarily, the Committee will have no choice but to consider issuing a subpoena to compel your appearance.”

Education Department spokesperson Angela Morabito responded via email: "It’s Groundhog Day all over again! Democrats in Congress are grandstanding for political points while the Department continues to get work done. We will continue, as we have been, to comply with all lawful oversight requests."

DeVos testified on student loans in December in a tense hearing before the House Education and Labor Committee after several subpoena threats. Maloney is now asking her to confirm by Feb. 7 whether she will appear voluntarily before the committee on March 3 “or if the Committee will need to consider compulsory process to obtain your testimony.”