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Confirmation hearings for CIA director, education chief rescheduled

By
Ed Adamczyk and Doug G. Ware
President-elect Donald Trump (C) and Vice President-elect Mike Pence (R) meet with Betsy DeVos at the clubhouse of Trump International Golf Club, November 19, in Bedminster Township, N.J. DeVos' confirmation hearing for secretary of education was postponed until January 17. Pool photo by Aude Guerrucc/UPI
President-elect Donald Trump (C) and Vice President-elect Mike Pence (R) meet with Betsy DeVos at the clubhouse of Trump International Golf Club, November 19, in Bedminster Township, N.J. DeVos' confirmation hearing for secretary of education was postponed until January 17. Pool photo by Aude Guerrucc/UPI | License Photo

WASHINGTON, Jan. 10 (UPI) -- A pair of confirmation hearings set for this week have been postponed to free up space in a packed schedule.

Senate committees have put off hearings for Betsy DeVos and Mike Pompeo, President-elect Donald Trump's education and CIA appointees, which were set for Wednesday.

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DeVos' hearing before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions was moved to Jan. 17 "at the request of the Senate leadership to accommodate the Senate schedule," a joint statement Monday by committee chair Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., said.

A vote on her nomination is expected on Jan. 24.

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The hearing was moved back after Murray, the ranking Democrat on the committee, and other Democrats in the Senate said the Office of Government Ethics had not yet finished its ethics review of DeVos' finances. They argued for a postponement until DeVos' ethics and financial disclosure information is finalized. The ethics office said it is overwhelmed by the job of vetting Trump's nominees and has not completed its review of DeVos.

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In a statement, a Murray aide said the senator is "hopeful that this additional time will allow Ms. DeVos to complete the required ethics paperwork in time for the Office of Government Ethics to submit it to the HELP Committee before her hearing, just as every single one of President [Barack] Obama's nominees did" when he took office in 2009.

DeVos, from Michigan, has promoted charter schools in her home state and has been supportive of national taxpayer-funded vouchers for private and religious schools.

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Pompeo's hearing before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence was pushed back one day to Thursday at 10 a.m.

Before the shuffle, Wednesday was scheduled to include six confirmation hearings and a news conference by Trump. Four hearings will now occupy the day, including a second say for State Department nominee Rex Tillerson and Homeland Security nominee John Kelly.

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