Warren: GOP ‘ignored’ ethical requirements for Cabinet picks

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

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenDemocrats narrow scope of IRS proposal amid GOP attacks Overnight Health Care — Presented by Carequest — FDA moves to sell hearing aids over-the-counter FDA proposes rule to offer over-the-counter hearing aids MORE (D-Mass.) is blasting her Republican colleagues for brushing off ethics rules for President-elect Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTrump defends indicted GOP congressman House to vote Thursday on holding Bannon in contempt Youngkin calls for investigation into Loudoun County School Board amid sexual assault allegations 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.


"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 MurrayOvernight Health Care — Presented by Carequest — Colin Powell's death highlights risks for immunocompromised Senate Democrats ditch Hyde amendment for first time in decades Building strong public health capacity across the US 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.