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Warren: GOP ‘ignored’ ethical requirements for Cabinet picks

Warren: GOP ‘ignored’ ethical requirements for Cabinet picks
© Haiyun Jiang

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenSenate rejects Sanders minimum wage hike Philly city council calls on Biden to 'cancel all student loan debt' in first 100 days Hillicon Valley: High alert as new QAnon date approaches Thursday | Biden signals another reversal from Trump with national security guidance | Parler files a new case MORE (D-Mass.) is blasting her Republican colleagues for brushing off ethics rules for President-elect Donald TrumpDonald TrumpBiden to sign executive order aimed at increasing voting access Albany Times Union editorial board calls for Cuomo's resignation Advocates warn restrictive voting bills could end Georgia's record turnout MORE’s Cabinet picks.

In an op-ed published Thursday in The Washington Post, Warren said there was “no secret that I have deep reservations about the policy views of many of these nominees.”

“But before we can debate and vote on whether these nominees’ policy positions make them suitable to run important parts of our government, it is critical that each nominee follows basic ethics rules,” she wrote, "to ensure that they will act for the benefit of all the American people and not simply to boost their bank accounts.”

Warren cited Tuesday’s hearing with Trump’s pick for Education secretary, Betsy DeVos, who is an heir to the Amway fortune, noting that DeVos has not yet provided financial disclosures or completed her ethics agreement.

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"Without the necessary information, we were unable to fully question the nominee about her many potential conflicts of interest,” Warren said.

"And after depriving the American public of even the most basic information on the nominee, Republicans further undercut a thoughtful examination by cutting the hearing short despite several senators pressing to ask additional questions."

During Tuesday’s hearing, Democrats including Sen. Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayGOP votes in unison against COVID-19 relief bill Murray blasts GOP measure on transgender athletes: 'Have a little bit of heart' Senate inches toward COVID-19 vote after marathon session MORE (D-Wash.), the ranking member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, insisted that the hearing should have been delayed until the Office of Government Ethics sent a letter about DeVos’s ethical agreements.

"I am extremely disappointed that we are moving forward with this hearing before receiving the proper paperwork from the Office of Government Ethics," Murray said Tuesday. "When President Obama entered the White House, Republicans insisted on having an ethics letter in hand before moving to a hearing.”

In her op-ed, Warren suggested DeVos could return for another hearing after she completes her ethics agreement.

"If those hearings have occurred, nominees who have not completed their ethics reviews should return for another round of questions after that information is made available,” she wrote.