House Oversight Committee Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney on Monday accused Education Secretary Betsy DeVos of abdicating her duty to testify before Congress, saying DeVos has "stonewalled" in response to the committee's repeated requests for her to provide testimony all while making plans to hit the campaign trail for President Donald Trump's 2020 reelection bid.
"If you will not agree to testify voluntarily, the committee will have no choice but to consider issuing a subpoena to compel your appearance," Maloney (D-N.Y.) wrote in her letter to DeVos.
.@RepMaloney says @BetsyDeVosED won't come before Congress: "Instead of testifying before Congress, you are now apparently going to Iowa to campaign on behalf of President Trump today & then to Pennsylvania for another campaign event for him on Wednesday." https://t.co/d35ZnUhV39 pic.twitter.com/ctEzRHeh7C— The Leadership Conference (@civilrightsorg) February 3, 2020
Maloney pointed to her Dec. 23, 2019 letter to DeVos asking the Education secretary to testify Jan. 29, 2020 with regards to "critical" matters 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."
Responses to that letter and follow-up attempts to confirm DeVos's testimony were "wholly inadequate," wrote Maloney.
The Education Department refused "for weeks to confirm your attendance or to provide any other possible dates that you would appear," Maloney wrote.
"Unfortunately, it now appears that rather than agreeing to testify before Congress—which is your obligation as a public servant of the American taxpayers—you made plans to appear at multiple political events for President Trump's re-election campaign," she said.
"Instead of testifying before Congress, you are now apparently going to Iowa to campaign on behalf of President Trump today and then to Pennsylvania for another campaign event for him on Wednesday," Maloney added.
The new letter calls for a new date for testimony—March 3—and asks Devos to confirm her appearance by Feb. 7 or "the committee will need to consider compulsory process to obtain your testimony."
Watchdog group American Oversight took to Twitter to draw attention to the letter—and DeVos' tenure at Education.
"Secretary DeVos has been out of the spotlight lately," the group wrote. "But her department still continues to favor policies that benefit for-profit colleges and student loan providers at the expense of students."