Betsy DeVos May Defund Public Ed—But Wants Guns in Schools to Fight Grizzlies

Billionaire heiress and school privatization advocate Betsy DeVos faced withering scrutiny Tuesday at a rushed confirmation hearing for her nomination as secretary of education, often betraying her inexperience with education policy as she dodged Democrats’ questions.

As she attempted to avoid the line of questioning, at one point DeVos refused to say whether or not she’d defund public schools.

Watch NBC News‘ footage of DeVos refusing to answer a series of questions about her donations to the Republican Party, her privatization agenda, and her total lack of government and policy experience:

DeVos was also the first of President-elect Donald Trump’s cabinet picks to sit for a hearing without completing a full ethics review, a fact not lost on Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who noted that without that review, the senators are unable to question the billionaire about how she stands to personally profit from education policy.

Democrats were also dismayed when Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, announced that he was limiting the questioning to “one round of five minutes for each senator,” the New York Times writes, noting that the questioning in previous hearings had included two rounds.

During the hearing, Warren pointed out that DeVos has no experience at all with managing loans or grants—particularly on the scale of the federal loan and grant system, a system upon which poor, working- and middle-class students depend to pursue higher education:

And DeVos faced many pointed questions about her myriad conflicts of interest, such as when Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) asked DeVos if her family’s contributions of hundreds of millions of dollars to the Republican Party perhaps played a role in her nomination for education secretary.