Democrats in the Senate say that Betsy Devos’ hearing should be delayed because she has not completed her financial disclosure, which is required of all Cabinet appointments. Presumably, she has an accountant.


Democrats are pushing to delay Betsy DeVos’ confirmation hearing next Wednesdaybecause the billionaire philanthropist’s finances haven’t yet been cleared by ethics officials, nor has she signed an agreement addressing possible conflicts of interest.


Sen. Patty Murray, the committee’s top Democrat, says that she’s concerned about the “extensive financial entanglements and potential conflicts of interest” of President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for Education secretary.


An aide to Murray told POLITICO that “it would certainly be concerning if nominees break from standard practice and don’t submit their ethics paperwork in advance of a hearing.”


Although DeVos submitted her financial disclosures to the Office of Government Ethics on Dec. 12, she is still in discussions to finalize the paperwork and sign an agreement addressing possible conflicts of interest, according to her spokesman, Ed Patru.


The ethics office, in coordination with the Education Department, is responsible for identifying any conflicts of interest that DeVos might have and striking an agreement with her to recuse herself from certain decisions to avoid future conflicts.


Senate HELP Chairman Lamar Alexander indicated he plans to move ahead with the Jan. 11hearing, regardless of whether the paperwork is finalized. Committee rules don’t require the ethics office to clear a nominee’s finances and sign an ethics agreement before a hearing. But Alexander will require those things before holding a committee vote, an aide said.


“Our committee is going to follow the Golden Rule and use the same procedures for these nominees that we did in 2001 for President Bush’s nominees and in 2009 for President Obama’s nominees,” Alexander said in a statement to POLITICO.


Democrats dispute that the committee is following the same practice, saying the ethics review of President Barack Obama’s Cabinet nominees was generally completed prior to any confirmation hearing. They argue that government ethics officials’ vetting of DeVos should be completed before her hearing.


“Confirmation hearings shouldn’t be held until senators have essential and required information on a nominee,” said Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), a member of the committee. “Required financial disclosures and a nominee’s ethics letter go to their basic fitness to serve.”


“The Trump administration may be conducting a slipshod vetting process, but the United States Senate should not,” Whitehouse added. “The majority’s conduct ramming and stacking these hearings for unvetted nominees is unprecedented.”


Four members of the Senate HELP committee have received campaign contributions from Billionaire Betsy. They should recuse themselves.