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Senate confirmation hearing for Betsy DeVos rescheduled

Posted at 11:01 PM, Jan 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-09 23:46:52-05

WASHINGTON, DC — The Senate confirmation hearing for Betsy DeVos originally scheduled for Wednesday has been delayed until next week.

DeVos, President-elect Donald Trump's nominee for education secretary, was originally slated to be reviewed by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Wednesday morning.

Instead, the decision was made to reschedule her hearing to Jan. 17 at 5 p.m. in order "to accommodate the Senate schedule," according to Republicans on the committee who announced the change late Monday night.

“At the request of the Senate leadership to accommodate the Senate schedule, we have agreed to move the nomination hearing of Betsy DeVos," said committee chairman, Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, and ranking member, Patty Murray, D-Washington, in a joint statement.

No further explanation was immediately provided.

However, the move does follow concerns recently raised by Democrats about the Office of Government Ethics, which said it had not yet been able to complete the proper vetting of several of Trump's nominees to check financial holdings and potential conflicts of interest, including DeVos.

Trump, in announcing DeVos as his pick for the position in November, called her a "brilliant and passionate education advocate" in a statement.

DeVos' vocal support of charter schools and school of choice has also made her a prime target of critics in public education. The former Michigan Republican Party chairwoman and billionaire philanthropist heads the advocacy group American Federation for Children.

Four other hearings are still set for a busy Wednesday, including Trump's picks for Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, CIA director nominee Mike Pompeo, Secretary of Transportation nominee Elaine Chao, and Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions. Trump is also scheduled to give his first press conference in months on the same day.

FOX 17 political reporter Josh Sidorowicz contributed to this report.