In a joint statement, committee chairman Senator Lamar Alexander, a Tennessee Republican, and ranking member Patty Murray, a Washington Democrat, said they agreed to move the nomination hearing at the request of Senate leadership.
Alexander said in a separate statement that he still expected to vote on the nomination on Jan. 24. An Alexander aide said DeVos had complied with all of the committee’s requirements and that the chairman’s office had no doubt she would be confirmed.
Democratic members of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, however, have continued to raise questions about DeVos’s background and her history of advocacy via nonprofit groups and political contributions to candidates and elected officials. In a letter to DeVos Monday, Massachusetts Democrat Elizabeth Warren, a member of the HELP committee, wrote that there was no precedent for an education secretary nominee with her lack of experience in public education. And Warren wrote that she was particularly concerned about the nominee’s “paper-thin record on higher education and student debt.”