Representative Carolyn Maloney, the Democratic chairwoman of the House Oversight Committee, threatened on Monday to subpoena Education Secretary Betsy DeVos if she does not appear before the committee in March to discuss issues like campus sexual assault policies.
In a letter, Maloney, a New York Democrat, accused DeVos of stonewalling attempts to get her to appear before the committee, even though the secretary found time to campaign for President Trump in Iowa Monday. She is also scheduled to appear with Vice President Mike Pence at a campaign event in Pennsylvania Wednesday.
“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’s letter said.
If DeVos doesn’t commit by Friday to come before the committee on March 3, Maloney wrote, “the committee will need to consider compulsory process to obtain your testimony.”
Angela Morabito, a department spokeswoman, fired back in an emailed statement: “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.” Morabito wouldn’t say if DeVos would testify before the committee at the March hearing.
According to Maloney’s letter, she first wrote to DeVos on Dec. 4, asking her to testify Jan. 29 on “‘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, compliance with collective bargaining requirements and other matters.”
However, Maloney said DeVos’s staff said she couldn’t come to the January hearing and hasn’t committed to another date during three subsequent phone calls.