July 27, 2017

After Multiple Non-Responses from DeVos, Sen. Warren Asks ED Nominee for Commitment to Reply to Oversight Requests

Text of the letter (PDF)

Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) today sent a letter to Peter Oppenheim, President Trump's nominee for Assistant Secretary for Legislation and Congressional Affairs at the Department of Education (ED), raising questions about ED's unwillingness to maintain a healthy, working relationship with Congress, and asking Mr. Oppenheim to commit to providing complete and substantive responses to Congressional oversight letters and questions.

"The Trump Administration's Department of Education under Secretary DeVos has been negligent in its duty to respond substantively, completely, and thoroughly to Members of Congress," wrote Senator Warren. "This Department has been either totally unresponsive to our oversight letters, or it has responded with paltry rhetoric and talking points that plainly ignore urgent document and information requests or do not completely answer our questions. This is unacceptable."

The Office of Legislation and Congressional Affairs operates as ED's primary liaison with Congressional committees and Members. If confirmed, Mr. Oppenheim would be responsible for ensuring the department's responsiveness to oversight and related requests of all Congressional Members.

"This is not partisan. I take oversight seriously, because, no matter which party controls the Department, students, families, and taxpayers deserve a Department of Education that will put students first," wrote Senator Warren. "I plan to continue holding the Department accountable to delivering on this responsibility. The next Assistant Secretary for Legislation and Congressional Affairs must work with Congress when we conduct oversight and hold the Department accountable for fulfilling this responsibility."

Text of the letter is available here.