April 10, 2019 In The News, Media

Why can’t Betsy DeVos give a direct answer to a direct question?

The Washington Post
April 10, 2019

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos seems to have a problem answering direct questions with direct answers — at least when testifying before Congress.

DeVos was on Capitol Hill on Wednesday to testify about her department’s policies and priorities before the House Committee on Education and Labor and was asked repeatedly to provide yes-or-no answers to questions. She rarely did.

It wasn’t one of DeVos’s most memorable appearances before Congress, such as in 2017 when she said schools might need guns to protect against grizzly bears. But her performance still angered Democrats, who questioned her on transgender rights, literacy programs and using federal funds to arm teachers.

In some cases, her responses skirted the actual question as she attempted to change the subject. When Rep. Donald W. Norcross (D-N.J.) tried to get her to directly answer questions about whether she supported coercing teachers to leave their unions, she said her interest was in helping teachers develop in their profession.

NORCROSS: What does that have to do with joining unions? You are not answering that . . .

DEVOS: It doesn’t have anything [to do with it]. It has to do with supporting teachers . . .

NORCROSS: But I’m not asking if you are supporting teachers . . .

In other cases, she tried to answer with a longer answer but was cut off by lawmakers who didn’t like the answer or wanted to move to a different subject.

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