Cheney calls for DeVos to be confirmed ‘promptly’

Cheney calls for DeVos to be confirmed ‘promptly’
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Former Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife, Lynne, are throwing their support behind President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: 'I will not let Iran have nuclear weapons' Rocket attack hits Baghdad's Green Zone amid escalating tensions: reports Buttigieg on Trump tweets: 'I don't care' MORE’s pick for Education secretary, calling on the Senate to "promptly" confirm Betsy DeVos.

In a letter to Senate Education Committee Chairman Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderIt's time for Republicans to lead (again) on climate WANTED: A Republican with courage Overnight Health Care — Presented by Campaign for Accountability — House passes drug pricing bills amid ObamaCare row | Senate Republicans running away from Alabama abortion law | Ocasio-Cortez confronts CEO over K drug price tag MORE (R-Tenn.), the pair portray DeVos as a fierce advocate for privatized schooling and an outsider capable of upending a broken education system.

“We need a leader who is willing to challenge the education establishment in our nation,” the couple wrote in the letter dated Jan. 16 and obtained by The Hill. “The reality is our K-12 system is failing far short of what children deserve and what our nation requires to remain an economic power."

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Senate Democrats grilled DeVos during her confirmation hearing before the Education Committee on Tuesday.

Democrats pressed the billionaire about her support for public schools, questioning whether she was qualified to serve in the nation's top education role.

They also attacked DeVos' history as a GOP mega-donor. At one point, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersButtigieg defends appearing on Fox News: Many Americans don't hear Dems' message Buttigieg: The future 'is personal' for me Donald Trump, president for life? We need term limits now MORE (I-Vt.) suggested that her campaign contributions were the reason for her nomination.

"Mrs. DeVos, there is a growing fear, I think, in this country that we are moving toward what some would call an oligarchic form of society, where a small number of very, very wealthy billionaires control, to a significant degree, our economic and political life," Sanders said. "Would you be so kind as to tell us how much your family has contributed to the Republican Party over the years?”

But in their letter, the Cheney couple urged the committee to confirm DeVos “promptly,” asserting that she is “one of the most dedicated and successful education reformers in America.”

DeVos is not the first of Trump’s Cabinet picks to receive Cheney’s blessing.

The former vice president has become a powerful lobbying force for Trump’s agenda. In December, Cheney voiced his support for secretary of State-designate Rex Tillerson, despite GOP concerns about the former Exxon Mobil Corp. CEO.