On Wednesday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) announced that she’s going to be keeping a close eye on Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos via DeVos Watch.
“We all have an interest in a well-run, fiscally responsible, corruption-free student aid program that puts students first. That is Secretary DeVos’ job — and it is Congress’ job to make sure she does it,” Warren wrote in an op-ed published by CNN in which she expressed her concern regarding DeVos’ handling of the $1 trillion federal student loan program, her oversight of student loan services and potential ethics violations at the Department of Education.
With Republicans already treating her as front-runner for the Democratic nomination to run in the presidential race in 2020, Warren’s latest comments on financial matters, along with the fact that she recently joined the Senate Armed Services Committee, have added to the possibility that she’s looking to get some experience in unfamiliar waters for just that reason. In April, she said she won’t run for POTUS, but that’s a typical answer at this stage in the election cycle.
“If you believe there is a correlation between education and wages and the health of society, you cannot be a serious presidential candidate, certainly in the Democratic Party, unless you have a strong record on education,” noted Democratic strategist Steve Jarding.
Accused by Democrats of being ignorant about education policy during her Senate confirmation process, DeVos was treated to intense public backlash as a result, with liberal groups calling her an enemy of public education because of her support for charter schools and tuition vouchers.
DeVos Watch is a coordinated effort to scrutinize the secretary’s performance, the latest of which was her decision to hire Robert Eitel, who works as a senior lawyer to a company that owns for-profit colleges that have been under state and federal investigation; and her hiring of lobbyist Taylor Hansen, who represents for-profit colleges. Hansen has since resigned after Warren wrote to DeVos about the his “glaring conflicts of interests.”
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