With Democrats soon-to-be in control of the U.S. House of Representatives, several members of House-led committees are preparing to challenge Department of Education Secretary Besty DeVos on several policies.
POLITICO reports that at least five committees could take DeVos to task next year on some of the more controversial policies enforced by the Dept. of Education.
Among them will be the House education committee where Virginia Democrat Bobby Scott is expected to be named chairman. Scott has been vocal about many of the policies enforced by DeVos, including the secretary’s rollback of sexual assault policies on college campuses.
“The proposed rule creates a new process and evidentiary standard that makes it harder for survivors of harassment, abuse, and assault to achieve the justice they deserve,” Scott said in a statement after reports of DeVos’ policy plans surface. “Campus sexual misconduct is already underreported and those who do come forward are too often denied respect, compassion, and a fair investigation of their claim.”
Another opponent, expected to lead the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, will be Rep. Mark Takano.
The California Democrat told POLITICO he plans to investigate the effects the reduction of regulations meant to stop misuse of funds from for-profit colleges. Those colleges, Takano said, enroll thousands of veterans each year.
A House Appropriations subcommittee that oversees education funding is expected to be led by Rep. Rosa DeLauro, who told Politico that DeVos’ record on student debt was “appalling.”
According to DeLauro, the committee will, “hold Secretary DeVos accountable for her agency’s failure to uphold federal protections for our students.”
Rep. Maxine Waters, known for her public spats with President Donald Trump, could be an ally for DeLauro as she is believed to be the future chairwoman of the Financial Services Committee.
Waters has publicly condemned DeVos’ policies, saying earlier in November that the Education secretary is conducting a “full-on attack on civil rights protections for students — particularly students of color, students with disabilities, transgender students, and survivors of sexual assault.”
Waters told POLITICO that her position will largely spotlight big banks and Wall Street, but the Financial Services Committee also oversees student loan companies and the Consumer Protection Bureau.
DeVos has no love lost with members of the CPB, either. The bureau’s top student loan officer, Seth Frotman, resigned in August as a form of protest against policies enacted by DeVos and the Trump Administration.
“Betsy DeVos has brought a special mix of incompetence and malevolence to Washington — and that’s rocket fuel for every committee in a new Congress that will finally provide oversight,” Frotman said.